Last week, I accepted a new position as the State Policy Manager with American Atheists, a religious equality / separation of church and state organization. My last day at SSDP will be Tuesday, August 8th. I have deeply appreciated my time with SSDP, professionally for four years and involved as a chapter member for seven and a half years. Students for Sensible Drug Policy fostered my development into a seasoned organizer and has helped thousands of others do the same, whether they stayed in drug policy reform or took their talents elsewhere. Some of my accomplishments include:
Playing a substantial hand in the campaign to get rid of SUNY New Paltz’ two-strike marijuana expulsion policy and one-strike expulsion policy for other controlled substances, in which I drafted a new policy based on several other SUNY schools and lobbied the Student Senate and multiple members of the campus administration Leading a New Paltz Town Board protest after an incident of police brutality by New Paltz Police, outnumbering the rest of the room and the Town Board three-to-one
Being elected to serve on SSDP’s Board of Directors, on which I served as Chair of the Inter-Chapter Collaboration Committee
Sending hundreds of care packages to chapters as SSDP’s Care Package Distributor, including materials such as t-shirts, table banners, and policy analysis white papers
Conducting outreach support for hundreds of chapters, Ambassadors, and new members across the United States
Overseeing several chapter victories regarding improving or implementing medical amnesty (Good Samaritan) policies and implementing naloxone (Narcan) distribution plans on college campusesLeading the creation of our Municipal Resolution to Advance Sensible Drug Policy, empowering students nationally to have local conversations about decriminalizing drug possession
Leading SSDP’s US Policy Council and Policy Council Tactical Team, determining endorsements for the organization and strategizing regarding organizational priorities
Joined in an act of civil disobedience at the White House demanding that President Biden ‘Free ALL Cannabis Prisoners’, not just pardons for a few.
Co-leading the planning and execution of SSDP’s April 2023 federal lobby day, in which I co-organized 25 legislative meetings for 30 members and allies to discuss cannabis policy, psychedelic policy, and harm reduction
These victories would not have been possible without SSDP helping me to utilize my skills to turn interest into action. In my first year attending college, my college had the highest amount of drug arrests of any public college in the United States (per capita). As I leave SSDP now, I have seen incredible victories, such as Oregon decriminalizing low-level drug possession and New York allowing for life-saving overdose prevention centers. I am proud to say that organizations like Students for Sensible Drug Policy are helping to fight, and eventually overturn, the War on Drugs.
(My last!) Sensibly,