#Reform19 Conference Recap

We had an incredible time at Drug Policy Alliance’s International Drug Policy Reform conference, where we were proud to serve as co-hosts of the event, and we are grateful to our friends at DPA for providing scholarships to our members. More than sixty students attending on scholarship were able to connect and exchange information with drug policy reformers and harm reduction service providers, justice advocates and academics, peers working in communities to serve people who use drugs, and, of course, more than fifty SSDP alumni who fit into those categories. The conference featured 11 SSDP members and alumni who spoke on a range of drug policy topics, check out our previous blog post for more on their sessions.

Staff and members took notes on 21 of the sessions, so if you couldn’t attend, or you missed a session, please check out our shared notes document. (It’s not too late to add your notes if you have them, just email them to roisin@ssdp.org and they will be added.)

We also hosted a community session called “Visions of Liberation: When We End the Drug War” during which members of SSDP held space for young people and other members of the drug policy reform movement to come together, share, discuss, and develop a collective vision of their Ideal post-prohibitionist world. Participants of this youth-led exercise explored a variety of topics, from honest drug education to decolonization, as we co-create our vision. Read more about what came up in this powerful visioning exercise in our notes document here.

Sadly, we were not able to be joined by a single member of our growing and vibrant network of students working to protect health, liberty, and human rights in Africa. Notoriously difficult and slow processes for obtaining visas mean that most African students are unable to join us for these pivotal gatherings. Help us change that for #Sensible2020 with a tax-deductible gift today, and make conferences available to any young person passionate enough to dedicate their time to sensible drug policy, no matter where they are from. Your gift now will ensure our members have time to apply for visas, plan overseas trips, and attend our conference with scholarships for travel and lodging — meaning young people from as many as 34 countries will have the same opportunities as our US members to superpower their change-making skills.