I am so excited to be writing this from the International Students for Sensible Drug Policy office in Washington, DC today! DC is alive and full of political activism that I can’t wait to be a part of. I hope to contribute to SSDP’s wide array of summer plans during my internship here, and while I will mostly be working remotely from WVU (Morgantown, WV), I look forward to my occasional trips to the capitol and working with the SSDP staff.
Since attending a panel hosted in part by Eric Sterling, presented by WVU SSDP at the beginning of my freshman year in 2010, I have been excited to be a part of this group that is making such a difference in drug policy and in students’ lives. To get involved, I started as the social media manager and in my junior year I was elected Vice President of the chapter.
This past year has certainly been an exciting and productive one for the WVU SSDP chapter. We started our year off on International Overdose Awareness Day with a die-in to raise awareness on campus of this important issue. West Virginia has the second highest overdose rate in the county, so this issue struck very close to home for us. We also attended the 2012 SSDP Mid-Atlantic conference in Atlanta, GA in October. Additionally, we also played our part in helping to pass Colorado’s Amendment 64 by making more than 3,000 calls to Colorado voters, urging them to vote Yes.
During the spring semester of 2013, we traveled to the West Virginia State Legislature to lobby and advocate for HB 2230, a medical marijuana bill that has garnered more and more support every time it is introduced. We also teamed up with our Student Government Association to host a Know Your Rights campaign to educate our student body on a multitude of topics, most importantly how to use your rights as a citizen and sensibly and effectively deal with law enforcement.
I am sure that the experience I gain this summer will only help our WVU chapter grow, and hopefully I will contribute to the effectiveness of SSDP as a whole. In my first few days in the office, I have already learned a great deal, and can’t wait to experience everything this internship has to offer.