This past week, SSDP gained a new chapter in the Commonwealth of Kentucky at Western Kentucky University. WKU SSDP recently received official registered organization status on campus, and chapter leader Kelly Cannon is excited to get to work.
With the recent start of the Fall semester, WKU SSDP is looking for new members on campus to join their team. WKU SSDP holds their first meeting this week, so if you are on campus, be sure to check them out, and get involved today to bring sensible drug policy to your campus and to the Bluegrass State.
Here is what Kelly had to say about her involvement with SSDP so far.
How did you first hear about SSDP?
I first heard about SSDP in the course of some reading about MAPS–the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies–in an article reporting that SSDP and MAPS would be partnering for the Psychedelic Science conference.
What made you want to get involved in the drug policy reform movement?
It’s so clear to anybody engaged in current affairs and policy that our present drug policy just doesn’t make sense. It’s irrational to place adults convicted of drug crimes alongside violence criminals in harsh punishments incongruent with the crimes they have committed. It’s absurd how much money our country is spending on a failing drug war when we have so many people lacking basic needs. I want to be engaged in something that can help turn around policy to be more morally and fiscally responsible regarding drugs.
How has the reception on campus been so far?
WKU’s campus has had a positive reaction to the beginning of SSDP. Students seem genuinely interested in what we’re trying to do, and we’re slowing gaining a facebook following. We’ve found a great faculty sponsor who is an expert in the field and who is sure to be a great asset to our chapter.
What are some events and campaigns you have planned for your chapter?
We’re interested first in working on an event to inform students about their rights when stopped by police. We want students to know what they are and are not required to say or show to police to protect our student body from infringement on their civil rights. We’ve also talked about having an educational seminar for incoming freshman where they can get unbiased facts about drugs they may encounter in college.
What is the most challenging part of your experience founding and/or running the chapter so far?
The most challenging part this early in has just been getting the word out.
What is the most rewarding part?
It’s rewarding just to be a part of a large organization with an important political agenda. I feel like I’m involved in something socially important by doing my part to change irrational and unjust laws about drugs. It’s rewarding to be a force bringing like-minded students together to campaign for something we feel like we can make a difference in.
What are you most excited about for your chapter right now?
The possibilities! Our chapter is still in its infancy, but I know in this area, SSDP is going to flourish. There’s a lot of work that can be done at WKU to educate our student population and to change policy and promote reason and fairness in respect to drug use and drug policy.
What is your vision for WKU SSDP? What do you see your chapter accomplishing in the future?
I see WKU SSDP as becoming an important and respected political organization in our campus community. I want us to be an organization that students trust to provide accurate, unbiased information about drugs and drug policy. I see this chapter as being a force of change and a gathering point for politically and socially conscious students to get together to make positive changes at WKU and in Kentucky.