SSDP rockstars presenting at Reform Conference

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
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Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a proud co-host of The International Drug Policy Reform Conference, taking place on November 6th-9th in St. Louis, MO. Reform will bring together more than 1,500 people who believe that the War on Drugs is a fundamental threat to freedom and human rights. We are going to be hearing from a great variety of drug policy activists and advocates from across the globe – including some rockstar SSDP alumni! We wanted to take a moment to highlight their panels and urge you to attend.


Multiple members of Students for Sensible Drug Policy will be leading a community session to hold space for young people in 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 will explore a variety of topics, from honest drug education to decolonization, as we co-create our vision. “Visions of Liberation: When We End the Drug War” will take place on November 7th from 1 to 2:30pm at Regency A.


Mikayla Hellwich ’10 will be co-leading a community session on gaining support from your local sheriff or police chief, and why that may be necessary to further your drug policy and harm reduction goals. “When You Need Law Enforcement Support – Communication Strategies That Work” will take place on November 7th from 1 to 2:30pm at Midway 5.


Katherine Celentano ’09 will be speaking on local and municipal government approaches to resist failed drug criminalization policies. “Taking Drug Policy Reform Local: A Municipal Drug Strategy Approach” will take place on November 7th from 2:30 to 4:00pm at Midway 6.


Ismail Ali ’15 and Allie Wilens ’11 will be speaking on the future of psychedelic policy reform in relation to broader decriminalization campaigns, including: what is the connection between the criminalization of psychedelics and the criminalization of altered states more broadly? How does mental health diversion from the criminal justice system fit into a psychedelic decrim agenda? What are the roles of nonprofits and grassroots organizers in pushing this agenda, and what are the potential pitfalls? “What’s Next for Psychedelic Policy?” will take place on November 8th from 9:30 to 11:00am at Midway 5.


Sloane Ferenchak ’14 will be speaking on building a culture of consent in nightlife communities connected with harm reduction advocacy. “Drugs and Consent: How Sexual Assault Prevention and Harm Reduction Advocacy Come Together In Nightlife Work” will take place on November 8th from 4:30 to 6:00pm at Midway 5.


Maria-Goretti Ane ’18 will be speaking on models of drug decriminalization and examining policies from some of the over 30 countries who have enacted decriminalization policies. “Decriminalization Done Right: Working Toward a Model Policy For Drug Use and Possession” will take place on November 9th from 10:00 to 11:30am at Midway 5.


Shaleen Title ‘02 will be speaking on the importance of social equity programs, community reinvestment, and repairing the harms caused by marijuana prohibition in ongoing marijuana legalization proposals. “Repairing the Harms of Marijuana Prohibition” will take place November 9th from 10:00am to 11:30am at Regency C.


Mike Liszewski ’07 will be speaking about the legislative process and walking the audience through how a bill becomes a law. “Lobbying 101” will take place on November 9th from 12:00 to 1:30pm at Midway 6.


Kevin Garcia ‘15 will be speaking on the repercussions of recent restrictions on vaping products and the racist enforcement of related laws. “Are Tobacco and Vaping the Next Frontier of Drug Prohibition?” will take place on November 9th from 12:00pm to 1:30pm at Midway 5.


Mitchell Gomez ’05 will be speaking about the harm reduction practices people who sell drugs engage in and how that participation could be expanded. “Activating People Who Sell Drugs as Harm Reductionists” will take place on November 9th from 3:00 to 4:30pm at Midway 5.


Oriana Mayorga ‘14 will be moderating a panel on healing justice, psychedelics, and the politics of psychedelic decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization. “The Power to Heal: Psychedelics and Healing Justice” will take place on November 9th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm at Regency B.


If you’re a member of an SSDP chapter, you’re eligible to exchange CAT points to help cover the costs of attending! Even though the deadline has passed, we still have a few extra spaces available, so if you’re interested in making it to Reform, contact your SSDP staff member ASAP.


More details for these panels can be found in the 2019 Reform Conference Program. We hope to see you there!