Students for Sensible Drug Policy to hold a national lobby day on 4/20 at Capitol Hill to end the war on drugs Primary Contact: Jason Ortiz, 1 (860) 639-8101, firstname.lastname@example.org Secondary: Rob Hofmann, 1 (607) 316-0227, email@example.com Washington D.C. – Students for Sensible Drug Policy will be mobilizing a national lobby day at our nation’s capitol to pressure Congress to adopt more sensible drug policies. They will be urging Congress to support full descheduling of cannabis, expanded access to psychedelic research and therapy, and encouraging the Department of Education to adopt harm reduction policies on college campuses across the nation. “The massive increase in overdose deaths of young people is a generational issue for the United States.” said Rob Hofmann, SSDP’s Policy and Advocacy Director. “We must pass more sensible drug policies to promote public health over the criminalization of students.” Despite cannabis legalization happening in 20+ states, youth and students are still being targeted for penalties while at the same time the overdose crisis is worsening and vital resources are being denied to young people across the country.“The rate of overdose deaths among U.S. teenagers nearly doubled in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, and rose another 20% in the first half of 2021 compared with the 10 years before the pandemic, even as drug use remained generally stable during the same period, according to new UCLA research.” In 70% of youth overdose deaths between 2019 and 2022, someone else was in their homestead or unit, and was not aware the young person was overdosing. “I am thrilled to participate in this year’s lobby day! Being a part of enacting changes on topics I am passionate about makes me feel like I am changing our nation for the better and helping people who would benefit from changes to cannabis, psychedelic, and harm reduction policies.” Said Taylor Puch, Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ambassador for the state of Illinois. “Our nation’s youth and students are the future of this country, so it is up to us to push for reform that would make our country a more just, safe, fair, and progressive place to live in.” Supporting organizations include the Last Prisoner Project, The National Association of Black Cannabis Lawyers, Freedom Grow and Oakland Hyphae. “I am proud to see students from across the country come together to tell congress our young scholars want an approach to drug use that actually helps keep our communities safe, not more talking points and campaign promises.” Said Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of SSDP. “The time is long past for an end to the war on drugs and young people across the country have much more effective ways to address drug use. We plan to give Congress the road map to end the war on our communities and give young people the tools they need to keep their friends and family alive.” Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members in hundreds of communities around the globe, including 100+ chapters in the United States. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies with a focus on those that directly impact students and youth.