Students for Sensible Drug Policy

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy
AbbreviationSSDP Edit this on Wikidata
Established1988 Edit this on Wikidata (35 years ago)
Legal status501(c)(3) organization Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersWashington, D.C. Edit this on Wikidata Edit this on Wikidata

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is an international nonprofit organization advocacy and education organization with focus on drug policy, war on drugs, marijuana legalization, psychedelics, juvenile justice and youth rights, drug decriminalization, criminal justice reform. SSDP promotes global youth civic engagement as a tool in reforming drug policy.

SSDP has expanded from a single chapter in upstate New York created by a handful of students to a network of over 150 chapters worldwide.


SSDP is governed by a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees, a designated body of the Board of Directors. Together, they are responsible for crafting strategy for the organization, overseeing compliance and financial affairs, and overseeing SSDP’s Executive Director.[1] At least two-thirds of the members of SSDP's Board of Directors are students or young people elected by SSDP's chapters each year during the organization's national Congress. Maya Tatum, Arizona State University Tempe campus, is the current chair.

Main issues[edit]

Access to harm reduction[edit]

Harm reduction is the act of mitigating negative consequences associated with drug use.[2] SSDP provides tools for its members to advocate for the implementation of harm reduction measures and support to engage in direct service work.

Marijuana policy reform[edit]

Students and chapters work on marijuana policy reform[3] at the local, state, and federal levels by supporting legislation and ballot initiatives for decriminalization, medical marijuana, adult-use taxation and regulation, and social equity measures for communities disproportionately targeted by marijuana prohibition.[4]

Psychedelic policy reform[edit]

SSDP provides resources for its members to advocate for psychedelic policy reform,[5] such as psychedelic therapy programs and allowing the research of currently prohibited psychedelic substances by researchers.[6]

Ending student drug testing[edit]

Students should not have to submit to a drug test at random[7] or to participate in extracurricular activities.[8]

Global drug policy[edit]

SSDP is a member of the Economic and Social Council and thus a consultant to its functional commissions. As such, SSDP has been advocating for policy reform and youth inclusion at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, including the 2016 Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem and the High Level Ministerial Segment in 2019.[9]

SSDP Global Drug Policy and Development Consultant, Orsi Fehér, held the office of Treasurer on the board of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs between 2018–2020.

SSDP's former International Program Coordinator, Jake Agliata, is a co-founder of the Paradigma Youth Coalition.

The organization also coordinates youth participation in global campaigns such as Support. Don't Punish and International Overdose Awareness Day.

Drug decriminalization[edit]

SSDP encourages chapters to create and support campaigns to decriminalize simple drug possession and other low-level crimes associated with drug use.[10]

"Just Say Know" drug education[edit]

Just Say Know[11] is a peer-to-peer drug education program, provides evidence-based drug information on campus and empowers them to reduce drug-related harm within their communities.[12]

Campus chapters[edit]

SSDP is made up of students and community members organized on college and high school campuses across the world. In 2015–2016, SSDP chapters were on 320 campuses, included 4,312 student activists and engaged in 135 drug policy initiatives. In 2021, our movement has expanded to over 30 countries and all six habitable continents.


SSDP’s international chapters engage in reform from their campus and community to the United Nations,representing the voices of youth from their countries and sharing their experiences fighting the drug war with their fellow SSDPers all over the world.[13]

SSDP’s international network has doubled in size through 2018 and expanded its structure to include regional fellowships to represent the specific needs of the Latin American, West African and European chapters. In 2020, SSDP International was

Alumni Association[edit]

The SSDP Alumni Association is composed of individuals who determine their own activities and levels of involvement. Individuals are organized geographically into regional SSDP Alumni Associations based on where they currently reside. However, individuals may of course participate in other regional networks by joining additional regional SSDP Facebook groups (ex: if the region you attended school is different from where you currently live).

The Deputy Director is responsible for managing the mentoring program by matching mentors and mentees, as well as training mentors on appropriate and effective mentorship.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Student Movement to End the Drug War Has a New Leader". 29 March 2021. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  2. ^ "Harm reduction: An approach to reducing risky health behaviours in adolescents". Paediatrics & Child Health. 13 (1): 53–56. 2008. doi:10.1093/pch/13.1.53. PMC 2528824. PMID 19119355.
  3. ^ "Types of Marijuana Policy Reform Laws". Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  4. ^ "Opioid crisis, cannabis laws at forefront of Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference". Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  5. ^ "Students for Sensible Drug Policy Working to End the War on Psychedelics". Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  6. ^ "Beyond Cannabis: Psychedelic Decriminalization and Social Justice" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The Effectiveness of Mandatory – Random Student Drug Testing" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  8. ^ "Students Rally for 'Sensible' Drug Policy". 18 November 2001. Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  9. ^ "Special Session of the General Assembly UNGASS 2016". Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  10. ^ "Decriminalize Nature and Students for Sensible Drug Policy Create a Community Healing Alliance". 27 January 2022. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  11. ^ Beck, J. (1998). "100 years of "just say no" versus "just say know". Reevaluating drug education goals for the coming century". Evaluation Review. 22 (1): 15–45. doi:10.1177/0193841X9802200102. PMID 10183299. S2CID 25765373. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  12. ^ "Students 'just say know' to drugs". November 2012. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  13. ^ "Students for Sensible Drug Policy Announces $50,000 Match Campaign". 14 December 2018. Retrieved 2022-02-21.

External links[edit]