SSDP, Decrim Nature become partners to promote compassion based public policy

Share This!
For Immediate Release:

National Decriminalization Advocacy Groups Launch Community Healing Alliance to Decriminalize Entheogens and Repair the Damage Done By the War on Drugs

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Decrim Nature create  partnership to promote compassion and community healing based public policy

Primary contacts: Jason Ortiz, 860-639-8101, jason@ssdp.org
Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Carlos Plazola, 510-207-7238, decrimnature@gmail.com
Chair, Decrim Nature National Board

January 27, 2022—Decriminalize Nature (DN) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), are aligning forces to decriminalize the healing plants and fungi known as entheogens and advance the conversation on ending the war on drugs. The effort would align two national chapter based organizations around decriminalization campaigns across the country.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members in hundreds of communities around the globe, including 100+ chapters in the United States. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies with a focus on those that directly impact students and youth.

Decriminalize Nature (DN) is a grassroots movement that began in Oakland in 2019 and has grown with chapters in over 50 cities in the US, and decriminalized entheogens in 14 cities in the last 2.5 years. The mission of DN is to decriminalize the ancestral sacred plants and fungi which have been used by cultures around the world to heal for millennia.

Numerous studies show that incarcerating people who use or misuse substances does not increase overall safety in our society, nor assist the individuals who are struggling with addiction. Additionally, studies emerging from countries such as Portugal, which took a public health approach to drug use instead of a punitive approach, show that overall community safety increases when treatment and support is offered to those suffering from ailments that lead to drug use or abuse.

“A national alliance of these two organizations is a unique opportunity to tackle the harms of the drug war from all sides” says Myc Williams, SSDP Board Member and Co-Director of Decriminalize Nature Michigan, “We are paving a path of unity that addresses both the injustices of current drug policy and provides accessible avenues for healing from the traumas that have occurred as a result”.

“We are excited about the collaboration between these two national, grassroots movements, DN and SSDP, toward supporting healing for people while also creating safer and healthier communities”, stated Julie Barron, board member of the DN National Board.

“We are uniting today to build the power needed to correct the profit driven framing being forced on us by corporations and their countless lobbyists.” stated Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of SSDP. “This alliance will pair youth leaders with community practitioners to ensure that decriminalization and reparations are the priority for the drug policy movement as we end the disastrous and malicious war on drugs. Wherever they have a lobbyist, we will have an organized community ready to meet them.”

“SSDP has empowered thousands of young people to become leaders and policy makers across the nation.” Said Robert Hofmann, SSDP Policy and Advocacy Director. “Our network of changemakers are eager to partner with Decrim Nature’s community chapters to ensure our movement remains focused on justice for those most harmed by the War on Drugs.”

Kat Ebert, a board member for SSDP, shared her excitement about the newly formed coalition. “This is a historic moment in drug policy reform history, and an exciting alliance that holds incredible power and potential for passing productive drug policy across the country. With our combined forces and shared values of community-based healing and education, ending prohibition, and protecting people who use drugs, the end of the destructive Drug War is closer than ever before.”

“We are excited to actualize the Community Healing Alliance partnership between SSDP and Decriminalize Nature. Many of the local DN teams have already had incredible support from members of the SSDP community and this partnership brings together two of the most important national grassroots movements related to policy.” said Larry Norris, co-founder and board member of Decriminalize Nature.

“Communities around the world have suffered enough from inhumane policies, which are often punitive and have led to mental health trauma and incarceration. It’s time to envision a world from a place of support and compassion, and help people heal,” stated Carlos Plazola, Chair and Co-Founder of DN National.

For more information, contact Decriminalize Nature at decrimnature@gmail.com or contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy(ssdp.org) at jason@ssdp.org.

study references: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681083/, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2021/02/03/therapy/ # #