SSDP Report Card for March 2020

SSDP staff, board, students and alumni (about 30 people standing in rows, smiling) during the 2019 SSDP Strategy Summit - roughly 30 people smiling, standing in rows in front of trees

Note from the team

As we continue preparation for #Sensible2020: The Virtual Drug Policy Conference, your SSDP team has been hard at work connecting members to the concerns emerging from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainties. SSDP members have been joining in virtual actions to release people who are imprisoned, working with our allies in communities to protect and expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment, making sure people who use stigmatized drugs have access to harm reduction supplies, supporting protecting access to cannabis as essential in US states, and collaborating across borders and oceans to fight regressive policies disguised as public health measures. Join us May 1-3 at #Sensible2020, where we’ll dive deep into extant concerns and — in every case — address the ways that our work is adapting to this changing reality.  

In the meantime, scroll through to read about our members’ work in the March report card, and perhaps get inspired about how you can be advocating for sensible policies to support people who use drugs in your community. Reach out to your local drug users’ union or harm reduction agency to see how you can help. Consider reconnecting with a person in your life who may be struggling with the pressures brought on by this crisis, Reach out for a bit more support if that person is you — your SSDP family will be here. No matter what it is you do nor when you do it, thank you for your commitment to our shared vision to end the War on Drugs and start making sense. 

Be sensible out there, 

Your SSDP Global Team

Action Alerts 

New Activists and Chapters

  • Columbia University (United States)
  • Maryland Institute College of Art (United States)
  • Santa Ana SSDP (United States)
  • University of Wyoming (United States)

CAT Leaderboard

Click here to view the Chapter Activity Tracker 

  1. University of California Santa Cruz
  2. University of Pittsburgh
  3. Ferris State University
  4. DePaul University
  5. Michigan State University
  6. Ohio State University
  7. Oakland Community College
  8. University of Texas Austin
  9. College of Charleston
  10. George Washington University 

Stats

  • 9 chapter members, 2 global team members, and 2 alumni — representing 10 countries — participated in the 63rd United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna
  • 112 people currently engaging in the Just Say Know program
  • 53,190 CAT Points logged this program year
  • 105 active chapter campaigns
  • 22 awards presented during our first virtual awards ceremony
  • 6 new student and youth members elected to our board of directors

Network highlights

  • Orsi Feher ‘16 hosted 3 webinars on Global Drug Policy, in order to inform members about how we advocate at the United Nations and prepare the SSDP delegation for the 63rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). 
  • SSDP global hosted a successful side event on behalf of Paradigma for the 63rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs titled Young People Use Drugs – Bridging the gap between Human Rights and Young Key Populations.
  • Members of SSDP Ireland and YouthRISE met with the Irish delegation at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) session to discuss Irish and international concerns for young people. 
  • Orsi Fehér ‘16 and Alex Betsos from CSSDP are now project managers for Paradigma, a coalition of youth-led organizations advocating for evidence-based drug policies
  • Clement Bofa-Oppong ‘16 participated in a meeting with the African Union and advocated for the African Civil Society Common Position with colleagues from Youth Rise Nigeria and Ghana.
  • Jacob Chagnon ‘18 successfully advocated for the need for credible peer-lead drug education rather than abstinence focused education during a meeting on drug prevention hosted by the VNGOC. 
  • Ruby Rose Lawlor ‘17 has taken meetings with the Ugandan delegation at the UN where she successfully lobbied them to consider harm reduction principles in their drug policy and even pushed them to include civil society organisations in these efforts. 
  • Ruby Rose Lawlor ‘17, Róisín Downes ‘15 and Ailish Brennan ‘18 (representing YouthRISE & SSDP Berlin) met with the Irish delegation during CND to discuss Irish drug policy, particularly in relation to the semi-decriminalization of possession bill that recently passed and the increased police presence at festivals. 
  • Our Just Say Know drug education program was featured in an exhibition by the United Nations in Vienna during CND, showing how the peer-lead program was contributing towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Michigan State University SSDP passed a resolution banning the use of facial recognition technology by the school.
  • Ohio State University SSDP’s proposal for the university to distribute free fentanyl testing strips on campus was adopted.
  • University of Texas Austin SSDP donated $1,300 of their chapter funds to several local organizations and converted another $500 they had saved into their community bail fund to support street outreach drives in Austin amidst COVID-19.
  • Rory O’Brien ’18 convinced Minnesota State Representative Heather Edelson to urge all sober homes in the state to stop evicting people, particularly for minor infractions.
  • Oriana Mayorga ’14 was quoted in this Quartz article about the history of sexual abuse in the field of psychedelics.

Just Say Know Drug Education Roundup

In the March edition of the roundup, our Director of Drug Education shares some of the latest in cannabis and psychedelics research, highlights some efforts in overdose prevention, shares a bit about what is going on globally in prevention and policy advocacy, and shares some COVID-19 related resources and information!

SSDP in the news

From the blog

Upcoming events and days of action

Recommended reading and resources

Member discounts & givebacks