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D.A.R.E. to DONATE: Help SSDP fight anti-drug propaganda!

 


Act now!Make a donation today to help SSDP continue our
important work.

Dear friends,

Today is the final day of D.A.R.E.'s annual conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  And they are mad.  They're losing the drug war, and they are grasping at anything to stop our progress. 

As the only drug policy reform organization representing students and youth, SSDP is directly countering the propaganda machine at D.A.R.E.  We're advocating for alternative drug education and prevention programs based on science and compassion, not a rabid ideology.  

In order to keep fighting their propaganda, we need your support.  Can you help us bring more students to our 2011 SSDP International Conference by making a contribution now?  

Unlike the D.A.R.E. conference, where attendees spend upwards of $800 on a single registration fee, we raise funds year-round for our conference scholarship fund, to help cover the travel and lodging costs of students from around the world.  Will you D.A.R.E. to make a donation to SSDP's scholarship fund that will go directly to students?  (Don't worry, we won't spend it on a custom painted Mustang sports cars or lion costumes, like D.A.R.E. does with your tax dollars.)  

Help us make SSDP's 2011 International Conference bigger and better than D.A.R.E.'s by making a donation online RIGHT NOW!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Perri

Associate Director

Students for Sensible Drug Policy

http://www.ssdp.org/donate

School Drug Testing Has Little Impact, Dept. of Education Finds

A US Department of Education research report released Wednesday suggests that mandatory random drug testing of high school students has a small positive impact in reducing past-month drug use, but has little effect on teens' intentions to use drugs in the future. Nor, the study found, is there any indication that drug testing of athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities has any spillover effect on students not involved in such programs.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/drugtestinglab.jpg
drug testing lab
The Department of Education study surveyed students at 36 high schools that received federal grants to implement drug testing programs. Half the schools had already implemented drug testing, while the other half held off on it until after the study period.

Under a pair of US Supreme Court decisions, school districts were given the okay first to subject student athletes to mandatory random drug tests and later to expand the testable population to include students who engaged in extracurricular activities. Under a federal grant program in place since 2003, the number of school districts subjecting students to the privacy-invading drug tests has increased from about 5% at the beginning of the decade to 14% now.

But the Department of Education study suggests student drug testing has little lasting positive impact. The brightest news for drug testing advocates is that among students in extracurricular activities in schools with such programs, only 16.5% reported past month drug use, compared to 21.9% in schools without drug testing regimes. Also, drug testing programs did not appear to inhibit students from participating in extracurricular activities.

While the presence of drug testing slightly reduced self-reported drug use among students engaged in extracurricular activities, the study found no impact on students not involved in extracurricular activities. In both drug testing and non-drug testing schools, 36% of those students reported using a drug within the past month.

Nor did the presence of drug testing programs have any impact on teens' plans to use drugs in the future. According to the study, 34% of students covered by drug testing reported they "probably will" or "definitely will" use drugs in the next year, compared to 33% of comparable students in schools without drug testing.

The obvious conclusion seems to be that if schools want an effective means of reducing student drug use, mandatory random drug testing isn't it -- it's achieved only modest and temporary reductions in teen drug use, and limited to those achieving teens who least need the help.

Today is Juvenile Justice National Call-in Day

Announcement

Sentencing Project
 

Today's the Day!

Tell Your Congressional Representatives to Make Juvenile Justice a Priority This Year


For too long, "tough on crime" political rhetoric has resulted in juvenile justice policies that are bad for youth and don't keep the public safe. More effective ways to deal with juvenile offenders exist, and now is the time for Congress to take action, but we need your help.

Right now please let Congress know that voters care about juvenile justice reforms.

Three major juvenile justice initiatives remained stalled in the Congress:

·         Reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which is currently three years overdue for reauthorization. The JJDPA, first enacted in 1974, promotes the use of effective community-based alternatives to detention, keeps youth out of adult facilities, reduces the disproportionate involvement of youth of color in the system, and promotes other research-driven best practices in the juvenile justice system. Call on Congress to reauthorize the JJDPA bill, S. 678.

·         Increasing appropriations for juvenile justice programs, which were the only category of children's programs that received a significant decrease in funding in the President's proposed budget. In order for the States to make positive changes, they must receive the federal support they need to prevent youth crime and rehabilitate juvenile offenders. States have experienced a steady decline in funding for juvenile justice programs since 2002. Ask Congress to preserve and increase juvenile justice appropriations for the coming fiscal year.

·         Passing the Youth PROMISE Act to promote cost-effective prevention-based strategies to reduce youth crime. Among many improvements to juvenile justice, this legislation allows representatives from the communities facing the greatest juvenile crime challenges to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent youth crime through a coordinated prevention and intervention response. 

Action item:  Today, contact your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. House Representative and urge them to make juvenile justice a priority in the 111th Congress by:

•    Reauthorizing the JJDPA;
•    Increasing juvenile justice appropriations; and
•    Passing the Youth PROMISE Act.

Click here to contact your Congressional Representative and Senators today. After entering your zip code, you will be provided with the phone numbers for your representatives, along with suggested talking points and a feedback form to report on the response you received.

Thank you for your help.

 

The Sentencing Project is located at 1705 DeSales Street, NW 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20036.  Send an email to The Sentencing Project.

The Sentencing Project is a national, non-profit organization engaged in research and advocacy for criminal justice reform.

A Scary New Drug Threatens Our Children: Nutmeg

Just watch this news report and try not to laugh:


My favorite part is at the end when the anchor concludes, "Wow. Well, parents have a very real concern about the nutmeg, but so far there are no reports of deaths from nutmeg overdose." That is classic.

Here's the thing about nutmeg: it sucks. According to Erowid, its effects "are considered unpleasant by most who experience them." I've never heard it compared to marijuana before today. For thousands of years, nutmeg has disappointed people who were stupid enough to try getting high on it.

So, there's actually only one way that an epidemic of nutmeg abuse could ever occur, and that's if someone makes news reports about how you can get high on it, stirs parents into a panicked frenzy, and inadvertently puts the idea in teenagers' heads to go screw around with giant bottles of nutmeg. Nice going, FOX.

Reminder: Wednesday is Juvenile Justice National Call-in Day

Announcement

Sentencing Project
 

Reminder: Wednesday July 7, 2010

Tell Your Congressional Representatives to Make Juvenile Justice a Priority This Year


For too long, "tough on crime" political rhetoric has resulted in juvenile justice policies that are bad for youth and don't keep the public safe. More effective ways to deal with juvenile offenders exist, and now is the time for Congress to take action, but we need your help.

Time is running out!  On July 7, please let Congress know that voters care about juvenile justice reforms.

Three major juvenile justice initiatives remained stalled in the Congress:

·         Reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which is currently three years overdue for reauthorization. The JJDPA, first enacted in 1974, promotes the use of effective community-based alternatives to detention, keeps youth out of adult facilities, reduces the disproportionate involvement of youth of color in the system, and promotes other research-driven best practices in the juvenile justice system. Call on Congress to reauthorize the JJDPA bill, S. 678.

·         Increasing appropriations for juvenile justice programs, which were the only category of children's programs that received a significant decrease in funding in the President's proposed budget. In order for the States to make positive changes, they must receive the federal support they need to prevent youth crime and rehabilitate juvenile offenders. States have experienced a steady decline in funding for juvenile justice programs since 2002. Ask Congress to preserve and increase juvenile justice appropriations for the coming fiscal year.

·         Passing the Youth PROMISE Act to promote cost-effective prevention-based strategies to reduce youth crime. Among many improvements to juvenile justice, this legislation allows representatives from the communities facing the greatest juvenile crime challenges to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent youth crime through a coordinated prevention and intervention response. 

Action item:  On July 7th, contact your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. House Representative and urge them to make juvenile justice a priority in the 111th Congress by:

•    Reauthorizing the JJDPA;
•    Increasing juvenile justice appropriations; and
•    Passing the Youth PROMISE Act.

Click here to contact your Congressional Representative and Senators on Wednesday. After entering your zip code, you will be provided with the phone numbers for your representatives, along with suggested talking points and a feedback form to report on the response you received.

Thank you for your help.

 

The Sentencing Project is located at 1705 DeSales Street, NW 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20036.  Send an email to The Sentencing Project.

The Sentencing Project is a national, non-profit organization engaged in research and advocacy for criminal justice reform.

High School Censors Marijuana Legalization Editorial in School Newspaper

Last month, we saw teachers suspended for teaching students about their rights during police encounters. Now, another school is sending the message that the drug war is more important than education:

TEXAS  -- The newspaper adviser at Big Spring High School resigned May 28 after the principal pulled the last issue of the paper, which included an editorial advocating the legalization of marijuana.

Bill Riggs told Midland, Texas, television station KWES that he resigned as the adviser for The Corral because of a difference of opinion with administrators and that he did not want the journalism program to suffer.

Steven Saldivar, superintendent of the Big Spring Independent School District, said the editorial conflicted with the district's policy of discouraging illegal drug use. [SPLC.org]

The idea that discussing marijuana legalization somehow encourages illegal drug use is impressively stupid and wrong. It's the sort of thing you might believe if you go around destroying legalization editorials instead of reading them and trying to understand the arguments.

It's bad enough that students are denied access to education simply for using marijuana. It's bad enough that we punish drug use so harshly that teens are afraid to talk to us and ask for help if they need it. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that when a young person stands up and bravely challenges adults to think differently about drug policy, their ideas will be treated as a dangerous threat. How dare students speak out about the policies that affect their lives?

Still, it is times like these -- when the drug war's defenders overstep the most basic principles of free speech and civil discourse – that the intellectual bankruptcy of their belief system rings the loudest. Every idea is worthless until it can be proven to withstand reasoned criticism, and the drug warriors have failed that test more times than we could possibly count.

Marijuana Legalization: California Tax and Regulate Has Eight-Point Lead in Latest Poll, But Still Under 50%

According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Tuesday, the California Tax and Regulate Cannabis initiative has the support of 49% of voters, while 41% are opposed, and 10% are undecided. The figures are in line with other recent polls. Two weeks ago, an internal campaign poll had support at 51% and another public opinion poll had it at 49%.

The bad news for initiative supporters in the latest poll is that it needs 50% plus one vote to win, and it isn't there yet. The good news, however, is that the initiative only needs to pick up one out of five of those undecided voters to go over the top.

Or, as Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh institute of politics put it: "The good news for proponents is that they are starting off with a decent lead. The good news for the opposition is that initiatives that start off at less than 50% in the polls usually have a hard time."

The poll also questioned voters about their marijuana use histories, finding that 37% had tried pot and 11% had smoked it within the last year. Not surprisingly, those who had smoked within the last year favored the initiative by more than four-to-one (82%).

This latest poll, like previous ones, points to women, especially married women, as a key demographic. While men favor the initiative, women are split, and among married women, 49% oppose the initiative while 40% are in favor.

Pollsters also asked about some of the key arguments made by supporters and opponents of the initiative. When asked whether they thought legalization of marijuana could raise a billion dollars in revenue, 42% said yes, while 38% said that figure was wildly exaggerated. Voters in Los Angeles, where dispensaries spread like wildfire in the last half of the last decade, were most likely to believe that such revenues could be generated.

When asked whether legalizing marijuana would worsen social problems, voters were similarly split, although such concerns especially resonated with those who oppose the initiative. Of that group, 83% think freeing the weed would increase crime and teen marijuana use. Fifty-five percent of married women also think that.

Attitudes toward legalization diverge sharply by age, with support much higher among younger voters. A 52% majority of voters 65 and older oppose legalization. Among voters between 45 and 64, 49% support it. But among those 30 to 44, 53% are in favor, and that rises to 61% among those 18 to 29.

The next five months are going to be very interesting. But if the tax and regulate initiative is to emerge victorious at the polls come November, it has its work cut out for it. And it looks very much like the path to victory is going to have to go through Mom.

Aaron Houston is a Patriot and a Hero

This week, famous marijuana lobbyist Aaron Houston takes over as Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Count me among the many who are pretty damn excited about it. Aaron is a cool dude and a warrior of justice who has the skills to give the right marching orders in the student movement to end the war on drugs. He even had the willpower to turn down Doritos from Steve Colbert:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cAaron Houstonwww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

If you're a student who's reading this blog, but you haven't gotten involved in SSDP, you're missing out on all sorts of things. Your school needs a chapter, and if you're reading this, then you're the right person to get it started. It's easy to do, and you'll have twice as many Facebook friends within a year. If you think you won't have time, you're wrong, because SSDP will teach you to be better at everything you do. Your summer break is a great time to get a head start, so click here for step #1.

Marijuana Legalization: California Tax and Regulate Has Eight-Point Lead in Latest Poll, But Still Under 50%

According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Tuesday, the California Tax and Regulate Cannabis initiative has the support of 49% of voters, while 41% are opposed, and 10% are undecided. The figures are in line with other recent polls. Two weeks ago, an internal campaign poll had support at 51% and another public opinion poll had it at 49%. The bad news for initiative supporters in the latest poll is that it needs 50% plus one vote to win, and it isn't there yet. The good news, however, is that the initiative only needs to pick up one out of five of those undecided voters to go over the top. Or, as Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh institute of politics put it: "The good news for proponents is that they are starting off with a decent lead. The good news for the opposition is that initiatives that start off at less than 50% in the polls usually have a hard time." The poll also questioned voters about their marijuana use histories, finding that 37% had tried pot and 11% had smoked it within the last year. Not surprisingly, those who had smoked within the last year favored the initiative by more than four-to-one (82%). This latest poll, like previous ones, points to women, especially married women, as a key demographic. While men favor the initiative, women are split, and among married women, 49% oppose the initiative while 40% are in favor. Pollsters also asked about some of the key arguments made by supporters and opponents of the initiative. When asked whether they thought legalization marijuana could raise a billion dollars in revenue, 42% said yes, while 38% said that figure was wildly exaggerated. Voters in Los Angeles, where dispensaries spread like wildfire in the last half of the last decade, were most likely to believe that such revenues could be generated. When asked whether legalizing marijuana would worsen social problems, voters were similarly split, although such concerns especially resonated with those who oppose the initiative. Of that group, 83% think freeing the weed would increase crime and teen marijuana. Fifty-five percent of married women also think that. Attitudes toward legalization diverge sharply by age, with support much higher among younger voters. A 52% majority of voters 65 and older oppose legalization. Among voters between 45 and 64, 49% support it. But among those 30 to 44, 53% are in favor, and that rises to 61% among those 18 to 29. The next five months is going to be very interesting. But if the tax and regulate initiative is to emerge victorious at the polls come November, it has its work cut out for it. And it looks very much like the path to victory is going to have to go through mom.
Location: 
CA
United States

SSDP: Meet Our New Executive Director!

Help Welcome SSDP's New Executive Director!
Act now!Make a donation today to help SSDP continue our
important work.

Dear friends,

After an exhaustive three-month search, I'm thrilled to announce that Aaron Houston will be SSDP's next executive director.  Aaron has worked for the Marijuana Policy Project for the past seven years, serving as their national field director and director of government relations. He led the way to numerous victories, including the Department of Justice's memo on medical marijuana last year.  His notoriety in DC can be measured by his many television appearances, including a universally coveted guest spot on The Colbert Report.

In addition to his work in drug policy, Aaron has experience in student organizing, serving as the executive director for the Colorado Student Association in Denver.  Next week Aaron begins what we hope will be the longest ED tenure in SSDP history.

It's thanks to SSDP's explosive growth over the past years and its many local successes that a veteran like Aaron has decided to take the helm.  But despite our growth in numbers, our budget has remained relatively unchanged.

We can't take SSDP to the next level without your help.

Ensure SSDP's continued growth and efficacy by making a donation online RIGHT NOW!

Sincerely, 

Matthew Palevsky

Acting Executive Director

Students for Sensible Drug Policy 

http://www.ssdp.org/donate

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

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