Drug Decriminalization

While the movement to reform drug policy has made major strides in the last twenty years, rates of preventable drug overdose deaths continue to climb year after year and more than 360,000 people remain incarcerated for drug penalties. According to the CDC, over 93,000 drug overdose deaths occured in the United States last year, and have only accelerated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Highly stigmatized drugs remain criminalized in 49 U.S. states, leaving behind the most marginalized people who use drugs. People who use drugs continue to be subject to police violence, incarceration, and lack adequate health care and community support.  Due to SSDP’s reach across the U.S. as well as our chapter structure, SSDP is uniquely situated to make local policy change in multiple states and begin to directly end the War on Drugs by directing pressure at their town and county governments.

Our Stance

The Resolution to Advance Sensible Drug Policy was created based on the experience of advocates pushing for the decriminalization of drugs at the state level in Oregon and the decriminalization of certain drugs at the local level in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York. We are planning to use these local victories to fuel support and energy to decriminalize personal drug penalties in multiple states, and eventually to decriminalize personal drug penalties at the federal level. If you are interested in passing the Resolution in your town, city, or county, please email policy@ssdp.org.

Model Resolution to Advance Sensible Drug Policy

SSDP Model Municipal Resolution to Advance Sensible Drug Policies

One-page Resolution Overview


Students for Sensible Drug Policy publishes the U.S. Campus Drug Policy Gradebook as a resource for students, administrators, and other members of campus communities who seek to ground their approach to drugs in health, safety, and education.