I am very excited to introduce our newest established chapter at Colorado State University. Elijah has been a chapter leader with us since he was in high school, and brought the SSDP message to his new college campus. Check out what he has to say about his experiences and aspirations.
How did you hear about SSDP?
I first heard about SSDP in early September of 2012, just days before the 2012 SSDP Mountain Plains Conference at CU Boulder Law; I had liked the Drug Policy Alliance’s Facebook page, and Facebook suggested that I check out a page from an organization called “Students for Sensible Drug Policy”, so I did and have been involved ever since!
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
I realized, along with many others that the government’s war on drugs is massive social and economic failure, and thus wanted to do my part in trying to end this. I’ve been involved with SSDP ever since I became aware of its existence; first through my involvement with the CU Boulder chapter, then through creating one of the few high school chapters at my high school in Louisville, Colorado and working on harm reduction efforts in the community there.
What has the reception been like on campus so far?
We haven’t had a meeting yet, but once we start to really push for more members, I’m sure we’ll have fantastic reception as a big slogan here on campus is “Rams take care, rams take action”; everyone here on campus really seems to care about their fellow students, and realize that drug harm-reduction information/education is fantastic.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
We plan to have multiple drug war documentary viewings throughout the year so that large amounts of students can really see how horrible our (and other government’s war) really is, and to host “Know your Rights” seminars as well.
What has been the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
The most challenging part of establishing a chapter at Colorado State University has been recruitment, but that’s true for many other organizations as well.
What has been the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part of starting a chapter at CSU is meeting other students (and our fantastic faculty adviser Jo Ann Hedleston) who are passionate about ending the war on drugs, because after all, the war on drugs is a war on health, education, freedom, you, me, and everyone around us; education, not incarceration.
What are you most excited about right now?
I’m personally most excited to see that around 6,000 non-violent drug prisoners in the USA are being released from jail on November 1st, 2015 (see: http://www.drugpolicy.
What is your vision for CSU SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
I see CSU SSDP as an organization in which members enact the best methods and tactics for tackling pro-drug war arguments, and using that momentum to help enact changes in the campus-wide ban on medical cannabis. In the following years, I’d like to see the chapter doing whatever possible to support the efforts of the researchers investigating MDMA and LSD for their therapeutic scientific values.