Students for Sensible Drug Policy did some amazing things in 2019. Our thoughtful, bright, and impressive young activists made huge strides towards SSDP’s vision of a post-prohibition future where safety, justice, and education are prioritized in drug policy. There’s no better time than right now to help us make 2020 even bigger by making a year-end gift. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach our $100,000 goal — and we’re getting so close!
Check out this list of our favorite highlights of 2019, then click over to our donation page to show your support for more student-powered reforms in 2020 and beyond.
1. Trained hundreds of student activists at SSDP2019 in Chicago
SSDP2019 brought more than 350 students, alumni, allies, and supporters to Chicago for our biggest event of the year. Attendees from 9 countries and 33 U.S. states explored the history and future of drug policy together and learned practical skills to take their activism to the next level. See you at #Sensible2020 in Baltimore!
2. Lobbied U.S. Congress with our allies as part of the Cannabis Justice Coalition
SSDP regularly visits Congressional offices to advocate for justice-focused cannabis reforms. Visit this page or text SSDP to 52886 right now to support our current US legislative priorities, including the MORE Act for cannabis legalization and the CARE Act to address the overdose crisis.
3. Launched the Psychedelic Pipeline
Developed by our Director of Drug Education Dr. Vilmarie Narloch ’09, the pipeline will prepare SSDPers to have careers in psychedelic therapy and research through mentorship, training, career development, and more!
4. Represented the youth voice at the United Nations
SSDP staff attended the Commission on Narcotic Drugs’ 5th intersessional meeting, where progress on cannabis reform is slow but showing signs of hope. Check out Orsi Fehér ‘16’s recap here.
5. Talked about sensible drug policy on national TV in two countries
SSDP Ireland members discussed the urgent need for access to drug checking on RTÉ PrimeTime, and chapter members from California discussed cannabis on the Today Show in the U.S.!
6. Helped legalize cannabis in Illinois, the first U.S. state to do so through legislation
Our Illinois chapters met with 19 lawmakers, built coalitions for years leading up to the legalization vote, and pressured the legislature to include some of the strongest equity provisions of any cannabis legalization law to date. SSDPers pushed for fair access to the market, community reinvestment, record expungement, and provisions to ensure that young people do not have their futures jeopardized by a cannabis arrest.
7. Prevented overdoses by expanding medical amnesty policies and providing harm reduction information
Harm reduction on campus and beyond continues to be a top priority for our members as overdose rates continue to rise for opioids and other drugs. SSDP chapters are conducting overdose response trainings, fighting for access to naloxone, and demanding 911 Good Samaritan policies for students who call for help during an alcohol- or other drug-related emergency. SSDPers are also leading the fight to open supervised consumption facilities and legalize drug checking, critically important harm reduction tools that face uphill policy battles.
8. Trained student drug educators through our Just Say Know program
Just Say Know is our groundbreaking peer-to-peer drug education program designed to give members the information and skills training they need to make empowered choices. The full program includes 12 foundational training modules for peer educators and more than 20 modules on the drugs most widely used by young people including alcohol, cannabis, MDMA, and Adderall. Alongside the 131 members certified or seeking certification in this rigorous program, anyone interested in making their community safer is able to access and deliver high-quality drug education.
9. Welcomed Rob and Róisín to the team
In June, we welcomed two SSDP alumni to the team: Robert Hofmann ‘16 and Róisín Downes ‘14! As our second U.S. Movement Building Fellow, Rob works from our Washington, DC headquarters and supports our chapters in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific regions of the United States. Based in Ireland, our Global Program Coordinator Róisín supports all non-US chapters and works closely with our team of Global Fellows.
10. Grew the Sensible Society to 400 members…and counting!
Our monthly donor club provides year-round support for SSDP’s operations, and started with a modest but committed 50 members in 2014. Today, the Sensible Society boasts more than 400 alumni, supporters, students, foundations, and business leaders. Join them by starting a monthly donation of $25 or more today!
We’re proud of what SSDP accomplished this year, and you should be proud too, because your gifts make our work possible. SSDP is a grassroots organization supported by individuals, small businesses, family foundations, and fellow non-profits — people just like you.
Thank you for your support.