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Breaking: House Committee Votes to Eliminate Financial Aid Loss Penalty for Drug Possessors

Read about the partial repeal of Souder's law included in their student loans bill by the House Education and Labor Committee -- of which Souder is a member -- in Souder's hometown newspaper. This is the third time Congress has moved to scale the law back -- the first two times Souder supported the changes, this time he didn't. Of course this is just one stage of the process, but leadership wouldn't have moved it forward if they didn't think they could make it stick. We've been working on this issue since 1999 when the law first passed. Exciting times. The work will go on, or course, to fully repeal the law for everyone. Look for more news on this soon.
press conference we organized on this issue in 2002
, for the
Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform, attended by ten
members of Congress
Washington, DC
United States

Drug War Chronicle Film Review: "The War on Kids" (2009, Spectacle Films, 99 min., $19.95)

Phillip S. Smith, Writer/Editor

For quite a while now, I've breathed a sigh of relief that my children are grown and not subjected to today's middle schools and high schools, with their achingly paranoid approaches to security and their obeisance to the principles of zero tolerance. As I've watched news account after news account of some kindergartener arrested for kissing a classmate, a middle school girl suspended for possessing Midol, an entire South Carolina high school raided for drugs as if it were an Afghan Taliban hangout, I've known that something was rotten in the way we treat our kids.

But I never gave it serious thought, never developed a comprehensive critique of our ever more freaked-out approach to youth, our desire to protect them from some drugs while doping them with others, or our increasingly authoritarian educational system. "The War on Kids" does. Winner of the best educational film at this year's New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, the 99-minute film smartly and entertainingly documents baseless and excessive punishment by schools and police, extreme forms of social repression, scapegoating by the media, exclusion from mainstream society and what can only be called pharmacological abuse.

All of this dehumanizing and psychological damaging abuses rise from our desire to protect -- or is it control? -- our kids. We want to protect them from violence and from drugs, from teenage sex and drinking. And this, of course, is where the war on drugs intersects with the war on kids, each reinforcing the other in an ever-increasing spiral of repressive, oppressive responses.

Unsurprisingly -- although this is underdeveloped in the film -- our story begins in the scary Reagan years of "just say no" and teen "superpredators." That was the time of the rise of zero tolerance, a policy that substitutes rigid, harshly punitive rules for common sense and an individual approach. Zero tolerance was originally about protecting students from weapons, but devolved into suspending them for drawing pictures of guns. And it was about protecting them from violence, but devolved into arresting them for schoolyard fights. And it was about protecting them from drugs -- some drugs anyway -- but devolved into strip searches of teen girls for Ibuprofen, suspending them for possession of Alka-Seltzer, and turning over anyone caught with a joint to the police.

As youth sociologist Mike Males, author of "Scapegoat Nation," put it in the film: "They must conform, they must have constant monitoring and supervision, schools won't tolerate a single drop of alcohol, no cigarettes, no drugs, no sex. This is absolutist conformity to arbitrary rules that are one size fits all."

Males goes on to note that despite the virtual panic over teen prescription drug use and overdoses, the real pain pill and OD epidemic is among the middle-aged. "It's not permissible to discuss drug use as a middle aged problem, so we have this unreal discussion about teens," he notes.

The youth, of course, are a convenient scapegoat. As much as they encapsulate our hopes and dreams, they also represent our fears and nightmares. Much better to project all that crap onto the kids than look into the mirror and deal with it ourselves.

The flip side of the war on drugs is the bizarre resort to the doping of a generation with Adderall, Ritalin, and the rest of the cavalcade of "good drugs." Here again, the filmmakers shine, turning a bright spotlight onto such insidious, invidious practices. The juxtaposition of the film's two drug chapters also shines a bright light on our whole insane approach to pharmaceutical substances. If a kid gets caught with cocaine, he is expelled and jailed. If a kid is on prescription Ritalin, all is good. Never mind that the two drugs produce almost identical biopharmaceutical effects.

"The War on Kids" is not just about the war on drugs. It also delves into the ever more Orwellian surveillance state built in the schools, the roles of administrators and teachers as akin to those of prison guards, and even the authoritarian architecture of the public school. (When driving through the countryside and coming across a grim, fenced, nearly windowless edifice, I find myself saying, "That's either a school or a prison.")

But the war on drugs and the war on kids feed on each other. Our draconian approaches to drug use and drug policy are a critical component of the war on kids. "The War on Kids" reveals that interaction, but also places it within the much broader context of our society's fear of urge to control our youth. In so doing, it unmasks the cant, the hypocrisy, and the fear-mongering that too often pass for reasoned analysis of the problems of youth.

As the Who once famously put it: "The kids are alright!" It's the grown-ups that have me worried.

Search and Seizure: Strip Search of Junior High Girl for Drugs Unconstitutional, Supreme Court Rules

The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday that school officials who strip searched a 13-year-old Arizona school girl based on an uncorroborated accusation by a classmate that she had previously possessed ibuprofen violated the Fourth Amendments proscription against unwarranted searches and seizures. The ruling came in Safford Unified School District v. Redding.
Savana Redding (from
Savana Redding, an eighth grade honor roll student at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, was pulled from class on October 8, 2003 by the school's vice principal, Kerry Wilson. Earlier that day, Wilson had discovered prescription-strength ibuprofen -- 400 milligram pills equivalent to two over-the-counter ibuprofen pills, such as Advil -- in the possession of Redding's classmate. Under questioning and faced with punishment, the classmate claimed that Redding, who had no history of disciplinary problems, had given her the pills.

After escorting Redding to his office, Wilson demanded that she consent to a search of her possessions. Redding agreed, wanting to prove she had nothing to hide. Wilson did not inform Redding of the reason for the search. Joined by a female school administrative assistant, Wilson searched Redding's backpack and found nothing. Instructed by Wilson, the administrative assistant then took Redding to the school nurse's office in order to perform a strip search.

In the school nurse's office, Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear. She was then commanded to pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area. The strip search failed to uncover any ibuprofen pills.

"The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had," said Redding in a sworn affidavit following the incident. "I held my head down so that they could not see that I was about to cry."

Redding had won in the lower courts, and the school district appealed to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which also found the strip search to be unconstitutional. "It does not take a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old child is an invasion of her constitutional rights," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the majority.

A six-judge majority of the appeals court further held that, since the strip search was clearly unreasonable, the school official who ordered the search is not entitled to immunity. But in its decision, the Supreme Court found that the school officials involved are immune from liability. The decision leaves open the possibility, however, that the Safford Unified School District could be held liable.

"What was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear. We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable," wrote Justice David Souter for the 8-1 majority. Justice Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that school officials had no reason to strip search Savana Redding and that the decision to do so was unconstitutional," said Adam Wolf, an attorney with the ACLU who argued the case before the Court. "Today's ruling affirms that schools are not constitutional dead zones. While we are disappointed with the Court's conclusion that the law was not clear before today and therefore school officials were not found liable, at least other students will not have to go through what Savana experienced."

"Neither the Constitution nor common sense permits school officials to treat a strip search the same as a locker or backpack search," said Steven R. Shapiro, the ACLU's national Legal Director. "Today's ruling eliminates any confusion that school officials may have had about this seemingly obvious point."

"This is a victory not just for Savana, but for all public school students and parents across the country," said Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "After today's ruling, a parent can send their son or daughter to school without having to fear that he or she will be subject to an unreasonable strip search by school officials hell-bent on fighting a drug war rather than considering the best interests of the child."

"It's good to see that even the Roberts court recognizes when zero tolerance policies grounded in drug war hysteria go beyond the dictates of reason and the Constitution," said DPA executive director Ethan Nadelmann.

Feature: Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Junior High Girl Strip Search Case

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, a case that originated in a school administrator's decision to subject then 13-year-old Savannah Redding to a strip search after another student said she had obtained prescription-strength Ibuprofen tablets from her.
US Supreme Court
The case began when administrators in Safford, Arizona, received a tip from a student and his parents that another child possessed the tablets and planned to give them to other students at lunch. Authorities confronted the second student and found Ibuprofen tablets in her possession. The second student told administrators she had obtained the pills from Redding.

Redding was escorted to the principal's office, and Redding's backpack and outer clothes were searched, but no pills were found. She was then told to remove her outer clothing in front of the school nurse and an administrative assistant, both female. Standing in her underwear, she was ordered to pull out her bra and underwear to allow any hidden pills to fall free. None did.

Redding and her parents then sued the school district for violating her constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Redding won in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, and the school district appealed to the Supreme Court.

The justices' questions during oral arguments Tuesday suggested that, as they sought to find a balance between student privacy and public school safety, they were tilting toward the latter. They appeared inclined to give school administrators broad authority to do what is necessary to protect kids from drugs.

That's what attorneys for the school district argued. "Searching any place where she might be reasonably hiding that contraband was constitutionally permissible" because the school district was acting as guardian, not law enforcement, said Matthew Wright, counsel for the district. "It's not like a criminal issue where they're trying to prosecute. This is a case where they're trying to protect," Wright said. "It is best for this Court to defer to their judgment... and not second-guess those rules."

Justice David Souter, noting that the drug at issue was Ibuprofen, interjected that, "At some point, this gets silly."

Still, Souter also remarked that it could have been a more dangerous drug, and the consequences of not acting could be tragic: "My thought process is, I would rather have the kid embarrassed by a strip search, if we can't find anything short of that, than to have some other kids dead because the stuff is distributed at lunchtime and things go awry."

Justice Antonin Scalia pressed Wright about whether a body cavity search would be permissible. While Wright tried to dance around that question, saying body cavity searches were not done because school officials were not trained to do them, Scalia kept pressing. In the end, Wright conceded that "I could see that result."

Despite concerns about how far school administrators could go in searching for drugs, the justices seemed even more concerned about more dangerous drugs. The justices repeatedly asked hypothetical questions about what if it had been heroin or methamphetamine instead of Ibuprofen.

When it came time for Redding's side of the case to be argued, a Justice Department attorney took the lead. "We believe that without some particularized suspicion or some specific indication that this, the location, was a likely one to contain the drugs, that this search was excessively intrusive," said attorney David O'Neil. "And this is not a new standard."

"We agree with the federal government that before conducting an intrusive strip search a school needs to have location-specific information," argued Adam Wolf of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "And while this case can begin and end with that well-accepted proposition, it's also important to recognize that a school needs greater -- a greater degree of suspicion to conduct a strip search than to conduct an ordinary backpack search. This search violated the clearly established point that in order to conduct an intrusive search of one's body, the searching official needs to at least reasonably believe that the object is located underneath the undergarments. The Fourth Amendment does not account -- it does not countenance the rummaging on or around a 13-year-old girl's naked body."

Justice Stephen Breyer tried to get Wolf to elaborate on "how bad" such searches really were, noting that students often changed clothes at school for gym class, but that only inspired Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman on the court, to intervene. "It wasn't just that they were stripped to their underwear," she said incredulously, referring to Redding and another girl similarly searched at the school. "They were asked to shake their bra out, to stretch the top of their pants and shake that out."

While the justices were weighing constitutional rights and student safety, youth rights advocates had little trouble sorting out the issues. "Strip searching eighth graders is way over the line," said Amber Langston, eastern region outreach director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). "This kind of thing is a horrid example of the failure of our drug search policies in public schools. They said they were trying to protect the children, but who was protecting Savannah Redding from the humiliation inflicted on her by school officials?"

Students deserve the same constitutional rights as anyone else, said youth sociologist and Youth Facts founder Michael Males. And school districts should be making better choices, he added.

"Students should only be detained or searched under the same rules applied to adults," Males said. "If authorities have probable cause to suspect illegal behavior that would satisfy standards of reasonable suspicion, they can detain and search suspects. School strip searches require a very high level of probable cause, yet they typically seem based on gossip."

Males called the Redding case "particularly bizarre," noting that it only involved Ibuprofen. "School officials didn't seem interested in searching lockers, desks, or anywhere except inside the girl's underwear," he noted. "These kinds of traumatic cases are, again, why I keep arguing against raising hysteria about teenage drug use."

"Adults inspecting children's private parts is something we should be very wary of," said SSDP's Langston. "This was all over prescription-strength Ibuprofen, there was no evidence Savannah even had it except for the word of another student who was in trouble herself. If the Supreme Court allows this to stand, we will have given too much power to school officials to conduct such searches."

It's not just students but the school districts themselves that suffer from overbroad search policies, Males said. "These types of school searches have wound up costing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in legal costs and, to my knowledge, virtually never find anything, which raises questions of why administrators are allocating scarce education resources to them."

The Supreme Court will decide the case later this summer. All indications are it will reverse the appeals court and uphold this expansion of school administrators' authority to do "whatever it takes" to protect students from drugs.

If You Think the Drug War Protects Young People, Read This

CNN has a story on teenage drug smuggling that pretty much murders the notion that drug prohibition is creating a barrier between youth and drugs:

As an American, [Danny] Santos could freely cross the El Paso-Juarez border and not raise suspicion. At age 15, Santos says, he met "a guy" at a party who introduced him to drug kingpins in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

"You start off as a driver," Santos said. "People feel like they can trust you, then you move up to something bigger."

Two weeks later, he got a $4,000 job offer to drive his first load of marijuana across a bridge into El Paso. It was the beginning of a four-year smuggling career.

Of course, a 15-year-old kid can't get a job driving a beer truck, but he can make thousands smuggling drugs for a cartel in Ciudad Juarez. Does this sound right at all?

US. Customs and Border Protection officials in El Paso and San Diego report that in recent months, they've seen a rise in the number of juvenile drug smugglers getting busted at border checkpoints.

So right now, in 2009, the problem of teenagers becoming drug smugglers is escalating. After decades of trying to perfect our drug war strategies, all you have to do is open any newspaper and you'll immediately see some seriously messed-up stuff going on that we didn't even used to have to worry about.

It just gets worse all the time every time you look at it and I couldn't exaggerate how bad it is no matter how hard I try. I shudder to consider how much more hell on earth it may take to finally prove that the drug war is the problem and not the solution.

Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is seeking a responsible, proven leader committed to drug policy reform and grassroots activism to lead the organization with vision and confidence.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots political advocacy organization with a member network of thousands and a national staff of six, is seeking a highly motivated, well-organized individual to help promote alternatives to the failed War on Drugs. This is a full-time position that is ideal for a person with prior experience in management, fundraising, and campaign development. This position is based in Washington, DC. However, the option of working out of our San Francisco, CA office will be considered on an individual basis.

The responsibility of the Executive Director is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization. Specifically, the Executive Director sets the direction of the organization in terms of objectives, strategies, and tactics and ensures the organization has the human and monetary resources to meet its mission.

To that end, the Executive Director will plan and implement programs consistent with the vision, values, and mission of the organization; manage the organization's staff, including the evaluation, termination, and employment of staff as necessary; raise funds to sustain and strengthen the organization and oversee the organization's finances; cultivate relationships with organizations and individuals with similar objectives, strategies, and tactics; serve as the spokesperson for the organization; and assist the Board of Directors in developing the vision and values of the organization.

A qualified applicant will have a track record of proven and responsible leadership. He or she will have concise and cogent writing skills, as well as pay close attention to detail. The applicant will communicate orally with comfort and conviction and will be a successful public speaker. The ability to be assertive is a must as is comfort working with people of all ages, especially youth. A qualified candidate will be a self-starter who's creative in developing strategies and tactics. A demonstrated dedication to reform of drug laws and policies is valuable, but not necessary, as is a smart, savvy political sense. There is no required minimum number of years of work experience; however, this is not an entry-level position. We are asking for a three year commitment for this position. The Executive Director manages three outreach directors, a field director, and an alumni director, and reports to the Board of Directors. Salary is commensurate with experience, minimum $40,000. Benefits include health care.

Visit for more information about SSDP or this position. The application deadline is May 8, 2009, and the position starts Summer 2009 in Washington, DC.

Interested applicants should fill out the webform at where you will be asked to upload a one-page cover letter and one- or two-page resume. In your cover letter, please indicate (1) how you learned about SSDP's job opening; (2) why you are interested in working with SSDP; (3) why you think this particular position is a good fit for you; (4) what experience you have in student organizing or drug policy reform work; and (5) what experience you have in management, fundraising, and campaign development. Feel free to include any additional information you deem relevant, such as writing samples or references.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a national network of youth committed to an open, honest, and inclusive dialogue on alternatives to our country's approach to drug use, abuse, and addiction. Through youth involvement in the political process, we work to reform drug laws and policies that adversely affect youth and their access to education.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an equal opportunity employer. SSDP has a strong commitment to diversity and, as such, women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and individuals who have been directly affected by the Drug War are encouraged to apply.

SSDP's office in Washington, DC is located near Dupont Circle (on the Red Line of the Metro) and the San Francisco office is based in Bayview, which is accessible by MUNI. SSDP has a fun, professional work environment.

Police shoot unarmed student over marijuana, campuses erupt

Watch students protest the shooting of Derek Copp


What's the most dangerous consequence of using marijuana?

Under our current laws, it can be a bullet in the chest.

Earlier this month, Derek Copp, a Michigan college student, heard a noise at the back door of his apartment. As he went to investigate, his eyes were blinded by a flashlight and a gunshot rang out. The next think he knew, he was in a hospital fighting for his life.

The intruders were police. They had a warrant for drugs, but all they found was "a few tablespoons" of marijuana. Derek had no weapons.

Thankfully, the bullet that tore through Derek's lungs and liver didn't take his life. And every day since that incident, local Students for Sensible Drug Policy members have been standing up for Derek and opposing the polices that made this shooting possible.
It's during moments like these that I'm as inspired as I am outraged. I'm outraged for the same reason that you probably are: peaceful people like Derek are constantly being put in the line of fire as our government blindly pursues a mythical "drug free" society. But to see why I'm also inspired, you'll need to check out this two minute video of SSDP members taking a stand for Derek:

In a world without SSDP, this could have simply been a sad news story about police making a terrible mistake. But because a strong network of student drug policy advocates had already been established in Michigan, the media couldn't ignore the fact that Derek is one of many casualties in the destructive War on Drugs.

Please join us in continuing to spread this message by making a contribution today. The first $500 we raise will go straight to Derek for his medical and legal expenses. Anything beyond that will help SSDP expand our outreach staff so we can continue to build the movement to end the War on Drugs.

Looking forward to the day when good people no longer need to fear the police,

Micah Daigle
Associate Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

P.S. When making a donation, you'll have the option to leave Derek a personal note. I'm sure he'll appreciate any supportive words you have to offer.

United States

Alien Abduction: My Anti-Drug

Just Say No to wasteful drug propaganda!

Dear Friend,

The strangest thing happened to me the other day. I was sitting on a park bench with my girlfriend enjoying some marijuana. While I knew she disapproved, I went ahead and smoked a joint anyway.

Next thing I knew, a flying saucer descended from the sky and we were visited by a space alien! Not wanting to seem ungracious, I offered our new friend a puff of my joint. He declined.

My girlfriend, sick of my pot smoking and enamored by the alien's courage, immediately fell in love with our new little green friend. Before I knew it, she was boarding his flying saucer to fly away together to a far away galaxy where they would live happily ever after, leaving me heartbroken with only my joint to console me…

Does this scenario sound ridiculous to you? Believe it or not, this is an actual an advertisement designed by our government to keep young people from smoking marijuana!

Since 1998 the federal government has spent over $1.5 billion on anti-drug ads targeted at youth that are nothing more than mindless propaganda, mocked by young people as this generation's version of Reefer Madness. Independent studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Westat, and Texas State University have all found that these ads actually cause more drug use among teens who view them!

President Obama has pledged to cut wasteful government spending by eliminating programs that are ineffective, and the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is an ineffective as government programs get.

While the program will receive $70 million this year, the administration is already developing its spending priorities for 2010. Please join me in sending a letter to Congress, telling them to "Just Say No" to wasteful and counterproductive propaganda:

Thanks to lobbying efforts by SSDP, our friends at the Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance, and you, the ad campaign budget has been cut by 66% since 2002.  With your help, we can eliminate the program altogether next year!


Kris Krane
Executive Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Job Opportunity: Outreach Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots political advocacy organization with a member network of thousands and a national staff of six, is seeking a highly motivated, well-organized individual to help promote alternatives to the failed War on Drugs. This is a full- time, entry-level position that is ideal for a person with prior student organizing experience.

SSDP currently employs two outreach directors. Due to growing demand for advocacy, SSDP is hiring a third outreach director, who will be based in San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC. Interested individuals may apply for the position in either location. The application deadline is Friday, April 3. Although the intention is to fill the position starting in April, graduating seniors will be considered. If you cannot start full-time before May or June, SSDP will consider starting the position on a part-time basis prior to graduation.

Duties of the outreach director include:

1) Assisting students who wish to start SSDP chapters: The outreach director receives several chapter startup inquiries each day. He/she promptly responds to each inquiry and guides the student through the process of establishing a chapter on campus. The outreach director is also responsible for the development of trainings and materials that will benefit students working to start new chapters. Information on new chapter progress is tracked using database software.

2) Proactive recruitment: The outreach director proactively recruits new students to start chapters by tabling at schools, concerts, conferences and other events. He/she is sometimes asked to travel for a week or more to a specific state or region with the goal of identifying students interested in drug policy reform.

3) Providing campaign support to established chapters: The outreach director works with the associate director on developing materials and the execution of grassroots campaigns. The associate director takes the lead on creating resources for campaigns, while the outreach director works with new and inexperienced chapters on implementation.

4) Event planning: The outreach director coordinates events that require many different components (e.g. outreach, logistics, materials, etc). These events include international and regional conferences, small fundraising events, campaign rallies, and demonstrations.

The outreach director is trained and supervised by the associate director, and reports directly to the executive director.

Qualifications include a passion for getting young people involved in the political process; exceptional interpersonal skills, particularly when meeting new people; the ability to communicate orally with comfort and conviction, particularly over the phone; succinct, persuasive, inspiring writing, plus a close attention to detail; comfort with working nontraditional hours (occasional nights and weekends), as this is when students are most available; a desire to travel, and the ability to work well away from the office; experience working with and managing volunteers; and a firm belief that students will play a key role in ending the War on Drugs.

Qualities/abilities that are valuable, but not necessary, include a demonstrated dedication to drug policy reform; experience with student organizing & activism; and a working knowledge of Apple products, Microsoft Excel, and Facebook.

To apply, interested applicants should e-mail a one-page cover letter and one- or two-page resume to Executive Director Kris Krane at [email protected]. In your cover letter, please indicate (1) how you learned about SSDP's job opening, (2) why you are interested in working with SSDP, (3) why you think this particular position is a good fit for you, (4) what experience you have in student organizing or drug policy reform work and (5) which of our offices you are interested in working from (San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC) and if your desired location is flexible. Feel free to include any additional information you deem relevant, not to exceed one page.

Salary is $28,000-$32,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include health care and the satisfaction that comes along with changing the world for the better.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an equal opportunity employer. SSDP has a strong commitment to diversity and, as such, women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and individuals who have been directly affected by the Drug War are encouraged to apply.

If you submit a cover letter and resume, SSDP will respond to you within two weeks with either a request for additional documentation, or notification that your application is being considered.

Please visit for more information about SSDP's mission and campaigns.

Reform drug policy full-time. Job openings at SSDP!


The movement to end the War on Drugs is gaining momentum like never before. Every week, Students for Sensible Drug Policy's staff is contacted by dozens of students who are interested in starting chapters on their campuses. Oftentimes, it feels like there are more fish jumping into our boat than we have nets to catch!

But thanks to the generosity of our supporters like you, we're hiring two new staff members to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding chapter network!

Outreach Director - SSDP currently employs two outreach directors, and we are hiring a third. Each outreach director is assigned to a region of the U.S. and is responsible for growing our chapter network and providing assistance to chapters in that area.

Alumni Director - This is a brand new position with SSDP. The Alumni Director builds and coordinates our alumni network. Only applicants who are current or former members of SSDP's chapters, board, or staff will be considered for this position.

We also have several internships available all year round. Internships are unpaid, but may be applied toward class credit.

I can't tell you how inspired I am that our supporters have enabled us to expand our staff, especially as many nonprofits are struggling because of the economic recession. If you've helped make this unprecedented growth possible, then you've invested in this movement at just the right time. Thank you.

And if you haven't yet made a gift to SSDP this year, but would like to ensure that the growing momentum for drug policy reform is sustained, I invite you to help us create a better future by contributing today.

Kris Krane, Executive Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

P.S. Please forward this announcement to anybody who might be interested in these positions.

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