Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ends Partnership with Decriminalize Nature National

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy Foundation (SSDP) is disappointed by the recent anti-Semitic messaging coming from Decriminalize Nature’s National leadership (DN). After consideration of Decrim Nature’s actions, this type of messaging does not reflect the values of SSDP, and we have decided to end our formal partnership with Decrim Nature’s National leadership.

For more information: DN made a post on instagram (original link, which has since been edited to remove specific anti-Semitic imagery), a post was made in response from David Bronner who was personally mentioned in the image, and the follow up post from Decrim Nature’s National Leadership.

SSDP joined in a partnership with Decrim Nature because we sought to build a diverse, strong, collaborative movement to help end the War on Drugs. We hoped that together we could establish a more just and compassionate approach to ensuring all people and people who use drugs are treated with respect. The imagery used by DN is deeply offensive due to its implication that David Bronner uses his wealth to control a variety of independent drug policy organizations, reinforcing stereotypes and tropes that Jewish people are trying to take control of the world. The clarification given by Decrim Nature increased interpersonal conflict by centering DN’s leadership, rather than seeking to genuinely engage with those impacted by the offensive imagery by taking accountability and sincerely apologizing to the impacted population. This is not the first time that DN has attacked a certain group of people, individual persons, and failed to reasonably address the issue. This chain of events is concerning, the lack of awareness of the impact of their actions continues a pattern of personal disrespect toward members of our movement, leading us to believe that this type of behavior will happen again.

SSDP seeks to empower youth of all backgrounds to engage in policy change through creating sensible policy and relationships. The rampant interpersonal conflict within psychedelics is hurting our collective ability to unite communities interested in psychedelic and all drug policy, and SSDP must focus on ending the war on all drugs with organizations committed to implementing sensible drug policies. We will continue to work with local DN chapters and other Decriminalization organizations who are focused on policy change and inclusivity and are independent from DN National. We will not tolerate anti-semitic or other demeaning language and imagery. We encourage all SSDP and DN members to reflect on this situation— why this type of imagery and language is unacceptable, and how we might create a movement where any form of discrimination is always, clearly, and loudly refuted and rejected.

While this has been a difficult and painful experience, we hope that the broader movement can reflect on how we can all be better partners to the populations we serve. This includes our Jewish brothers, sisters, and family members, in addition to all communities that continually face discrimination in the struggle for a more compassionate and sensible world. Please feel free to email ssdp@ssdp.org with any questions or concerns.