Thursday, September 16, 2010

Video: SSDP Confronts Drug Czar

This morning, SSDP member Daniel Pacheco presented our Just Say Now petition with 52,000 signatures calling for an end to marijuana prohbition to Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. Drug Czar during
a press conference for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

Daniel, a student at Georgetown University and originally from Colombia, asks why the ONDCP continues to deny that legalizing marijuana would take away drug cartel's massive profits. When Dir. Kerlikowske says that marijuana is only a small part of their income, Daniel tells him he's downplaying marijuana's role in the black market drug trade and disrespecting the 28,000 people murdered in Mexico's drug prohibition violence. He then hands the petition to Director Kerlikowske. You have to watch this video.

Kerlikowske is basically discrediting the findings of his own department, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, by saying that their report citing that 60% of cartel revenue is coming from marijuana is from 2006 and used data from 1997 and therefore is too old to be trusted. He flat out lies by saying that legalizing marijuana would only take away a small part of DTO profits (and essentially admitting that legalization would take away some profit). But we don't have to go all the way back to 1997 for this information. In 2008, the FBI released a report with these findings:
Mexico is the number one foreign supplier of marijuana abused in the United States. In fact, according to a 2008 inter-agency report, marijuana is the top revenue generator for Mexican DTOs—a cash crop that finances corruption and the carnage of violence year after year. The profits derived from marijuana trafficking—an industry with minimal overhead costs, controlled entirely by the traffickers—are used not only to finance other drug enterprises by Mexico’s poly-drug cartels, but also to pay recurring “business” expenses, purchase weapons, and bribe corrupt officials.
So basically, ONDCP now has to discredit their own findings and ignore those of the FBI in order to defend their backwards stance on marijuana legalization!

SSDP is the only student organization putting political leaders on the spot about marijuana legalization and drug policy reform. Help us continue this important work by making a donation today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Schools Leading Marijuana Petition Drive

Students across the country hit the ground running this fall semester, collecting hundreds of petition signatures to legalize marijuana. One month ago, we launched the Just Say Now Campus Challenge for our chapters to compete against each other to see who can gather the most signatures. Through this competition, over 150 SSDP chapters are competing for prizes such as hemp t-shirts, flip video cameras, and other Just Say Now merchandise.

Let's take a look at which schools are leading the pack...*
  1. Northern Virginia Community College: 423
    Woodbridge, VA
  2. University of Cincinnati: 255
    Cincinnati, OH
  3. West Virginia University: 214
    Morgantown, WV
  4. Albert Einstein High School: 142
    Silver Spring, MD
  5. University of Connecticut: 114
    Storrs, CT
  6. SUNY Canton: 108
    Canton, NY
  7. University of Utah: 105
    Salt Lake City, UT
  8. University of New Mexico: 58
    Albuquerque, NM
  9. University of Maryland: 45
    College Park, MD
  10. Seton Hill University: 33
    Greensburg, PA
* as of noon EST 9/14/10. Congratulations to members of these 10 SSDP chapters on your hard work. If your school hasn't gotten the ball rolling on campus yet, don't worry it's certainly not too late! All of our chapters should have received their Just Say Now campaign materials in the mail, so get out there and show us what you can do! And as always, feel free to contact your regional outreach director for advice or with questions.

As students head back to school this fall semester, and as we get closer to Election Day, I know the competition will only grow more and more intense, so stay tuned. To learn more about the Just Say Now Campus Challenge visit this page.

Monday, September 13, 2010

SSDP Heads Back to School


The 2010 fall semester brings with it SSDP's largest chapter network to date. SSDP now has chapters on 135 college campuses throughout the U.S., and we expect to reach nearly 200 chapters by early 2011! We're also holding five regional conferences across the country and will be hosting our first training conference at the University of Maryland in March.

Back to School Fundraising Drive 

donation of $100, $50, $25 or $10 to SSDP will help us provide materials and resources to our chapters so that they can wage successful campaigns on and off their campuses. Please consider making a one-time donation or signing up as a monthly sustainer and donating as little as $10 per month to SSDP.

If you can't support us financially right now, you can help us grow by spreading the word and telling a friend about our
Action Alert list, becoming a fan of us on Facebook, joining our Facebook Cause, and by following us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Just Say Now!
We have
officially launched our "Just Say Now" campaign with, one of the world's biggest political blogs, to combine their online presence with our grassroots organizing strength. Together we will be working to identify supporters of marijuana reform across the country to get them engaged in the battle, while simultaneously attracting the attention of the nation and the world. Sign the petition and make a $10 donation to get your awesome Just Say Now sticker! Through the Just Say Now Campus Challenge our chapters are competing to see which school can gather the most signatures.

New Student Organizing Manual!
SSDP's outreach staff has launched a revamped
student organizing manual, arming every SSDP chapter and activist with guides on lobbying, working with the media, running productive meetings, organizing successful events and much more. Your donation of $20 will pay for 10 manuals to be printed and shipped to chapters!

SSDP Regional Conferences
Northeast Regional - October 16-17

University of Connecticut

Mid-Atlantic Regional - October 9-10

Virgina Commonwealth University

West Coast Regional - October 16

San Francisco State University

Mountain Plains Regional - November 6

University of Colorado Boulder

Midwest Regional - Date TBD
Kent State University

Help Us Reach 10,000 Fans on Facebook!
Are you a fan of SSDP on Facebook? We are currently at almost 9,000 fans and we hope that after this message is sent out, we will top 10,000. All you have to do is visit our
Facebook page and click "like". Then update your status with "I like SSDP! Can you do the same?" and attach this link:

SSDP Training Conference and Lobby Day
SSDP is excited to be holding our first three-track training conference aimed at delivering chapter members with intensive participatory workshops and trainings on campaign management, running a chapter and lobbying.
Location: University of Maryland College Park
Date: March 2010
Donate to our conference scholarship fund