Whereas Ethan Nadelmann Rocks

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Ethan Nadelmann, pictured at the first SSDP conference in 1999, will soon be retiring from his long-time post as Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and in his honor the SSDP Board of Directors has passed the following resolution. Photo credit: Doug McVay

    Whereas Ethan Nadelmann, for two decades, has been one of the most prominent global leaders of drug policy reform, has announced that he is stepping down as Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance in the Spring of 2017;
Whereas Ethan Nadelmann has spoken at almost every international conference of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and has inspired tens of thousands of students and members of SSDP to make the reform of drug policy a central part of their lives through the power of his incomparable intellect and passion; Whereas as a graduate student at Harvard University Ethan Nadelmann developed a passion for drug policy reform and conducted his doctoral research to have an impact on drug policy, an inspiration to graduate students around the world on how to make one’s intellectual interests relevant to the development of government and social policy; Whereas as a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, Ethan Nadelmann created courses in drug policy and invited drug policy reformers to speak to his classes and wrote ground breaking academic articles in the late 1980s that were critically important in laying an intellectual foundation for the modern drug policy reform movement; Whereas twenty-three years ago, Ethan Nadelmann started The Lindesmith Center to become a respected voice to promote harm reduction, human rights, compassion and scientific integrity as foundational principles for making drug policy and seventeen years ago merged The Lindesmith Center with the Drug Policy Foundation to create the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), becoming DPA’s longest-serving Executive Director; Whereas at the Drug Policy Alliance, Ethan Nadelmann built a global movement recruiting some of the most respected former Presidents, Prime Ministers, and cabinet officers of key nations around the world, as well as leading businesspeople and public intellectuals, along with tens of thousands of ordinary citizens and built a staff and organization that has completely reorganized the global narrative about drug use, drug addiction, and the respective roles of public health and criminal justice; Whereas Ethan Nadelmann undertook to raise funds from some of the most influential and generous donors in the world to share with drug policy reform organizations around the world to build a global network to change drug policy from one of ignorance, cruelty, racism, violence, and failure to a be part of an effective public health and liberty-respecting national and international program; Whereas beginning in 1996, Ethan Nadelmann played a pivotal and irreplaceable role in the development and enactment of most of the major drug policy reform initiative campaigns in the United States, transforming American law regarding medical marijuana, legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use, sentencing policy for drug offenders, the role of probation and parole, drug treatment, and asset forfeiture; Whereas Ethan Nadelmann has been a great friend and mentor of the leadership of Students for Sensible Drug Policy since its inception, and has provided invaluable personal, spiritual, moral and material support and encouragement to SSDP; Therefore be it Resolved that Students for Sensible Drug Policy recognizes the countless history-shaping accomplishments of Ethan Nadelmann in the advancement of the public welfare around the world, his profound importance to the growth of SSDP, our deep debt to his support of SSDP, and our eternal appreciation for his friendship, shared wisdom, and inspiration to students around the world.