United States Policy Council

The U.S. Policy Councilmade up of SSDP alumni, Board, team, chapter members, supporterssets SSDP’s policy priorities and acts as the primary working space to support members with resources, toolkits, counsel, mentoring, networking, and collaborative opportunities to effect change. The Councilparticularly the tactical team—are primarily responsible for communicating advocacy activities and actions to the network. 


Welcome!

US Policy Council

Policy Council members commit to spending at least 2 hours monthly advancing SSDP’s policy agenda through providing analysis, resources, and mentorship to SSDP chapter members. The full Council will meet at least once per month to share updates from issue groups, plan for future activities, review assignments, and discuss other matters before the committee.

Interested in Joining?

Sign up using our U.S. Policy Council Membership Form!

Interested in a specific group?

Members interested in a specific working issue group will be added to the issue group’s Slack channel and given comment-only access to the toolkit for that issue by their team contact (robert@ssdp.org or sarah.noon@ssdp.org) or by a member of the issue group.

Working Issue groups

Working Issue groups are developed to promote, advocate, and work more deeply for specific policy issues. Primary responsibilities include monitoring bills and public debate under the issue; creating, updating, and maintaining toolkits; and providing support to SSDP members and chapters interested in the issue. Issue groups can select to have chairs or co-chairs if desired.


Current issue groups:

Cannabis Policy – cannabis@ssdp.org

Drug Decriminalization – decrim@ssdp.org

Global Drug Policy and UN Advocacy – globalpolicy@ssdp.org

Harm Reduction – harmreduction@ssdp.org

Psychedelic Policy – psychedelicpolicy@ssdp.org

Scientific Research – research@ssdp.org

Sentencing and Juvenile Justice – sentencing@ssdp.org

Tactical Team

The Policy Council tactical team is selected from highly engaged Policy Council members and is responsible for approving Policy Council activities and work product, representing SSDP in closed coalitions, responding to short deadlines, managing the work of the Council, and providing an accountability framework for the issue groups. Members can be invited to the tactical group with consensus or a majority vote of the current members.

Members interested in joining the Tactical Group can email the group at policy@ssdp.org to be considered. For those who are considering joining, here is a list of examples showing different types of experience that would be useful on the Team.


Current members

Rob Hofmann ‘16, Marlo Holguin ’20, Chiara Juster *20, Mike Liszewski ‘07, Sarah Noon ’18, Jason Ortiz ’08

Action Center

Actions and corresponding social media/email requests can be completed by filling out the Action Center Campaign Request and sending the request to the tactical team at policy@ssdp.org.

Responsibilities

Endorsements

The Executive Director has delegated endorsement authority for bills, sign-on letters, and other items requiring endorsement in the United States to the Policy Council’s tactical group according to the following constraints (carried over from the delegation of the Board of Directors):

Endorsements which clearly fit within SSDP’s established endorsement criteria and policy positions may be given without Board approval

Short-deadline endorsements (less than 96 hours) which are generally aligned with SSDP’s established policy positions or values may be given without Board approval but the Board must be notified immediately.

Endorsements that do not clearly fit within SSDP’s established policy must be evaluated by the Board of Directors by sending an email to the Board (board@ssdp.org, copied to us-policy-council@ssdp.org). The Board will discuss and vote on any such endorsements. Be sure to include:

  • A description of the item to be endorsed

  • The deadline for endorsement

  • Any relevant links

  • A brief analysis of the pros and cons of the endorsement.

Issue groups recommend endorsements to the tactical group for evaluation.

Chapters may independently choose to endorse particular items regardless of the Policy Council or Board’s position as long as the item is aligned with SSDP’s mission.

All bills, sign-on letters, and other items that are created outside the U.S. or by international bodies must be endorsed by SSDP International, SSDP’s Vienna office. All items created within the U.S. which have any notable effect on countries outside of the US (including United Nations items) will be endorsed following the approval of SSDP International.

U.S Policy Quick Links

The U.S Policy Quick Links is a hub of resources with two pages, the home page, and the working issue group page. Members interested in a resource that is not linked are welcome to contact sarah.noon@ssdp.org and make that suggestion. This is a living resource and is changing all of the time!

Policy Council Video Training Center – coming soon!

Training series coming soon – 4 parts on appropriations! 

I- Appropriations 101 – Slide deck

II- SSDP FY22 Appropriations Requests

III- SSDP FY22 Marijuana-Related Appropriations Requests

IV- Scheduling, Meeting, and Advocating for Appropriations