Saturday, March 12, 2011

AMPLIFY Artist Addition: Cas Haley

SSDP's AMPLIFY Project is proud to announce Cas Haley as our newest addition to the AMPLIFY artist family! We're excited to add an artist that has proved determination, hard work, and good vibes can take you a long way (not to mention incredible talent!). Head over to his facebook page and show him some love! Cas' story is pretty cool:
His crystalline voice and funky, easygoing beats earned Cas Haley a second-place finish on America’s Got Talent, which in turn netted him a measure of fame and a following. But the contest also locked the Texan singer/songwriter/guitarist into a major label deal that didn’t feel right. So, not wanting to be turned into a manufactured product, he struck out on his own. Connection, his Easy Star Records debut, is aptly named. It’s all about those deep-running connections that make him what he is—those unbreakable links between artist and audience, between styles of music, between art and life, and most of all, between all people. As Cas points out, reggae’s core message is, after all, "one love."
Cas is about to hit the road with AMPLIFY artists Easy Star All Stars and The Green just in time for spring. What better way to warm up after a chilly winter than signing up your SSDP chapter for some of these shows?

3/23 Mt. Snow - Mt. Snow, VT
3/31 Bourbon Quarter - Baltimore, MD
4/1 Jefferson Theatre - Charlottesville, VA
4/2 The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
4/3 Cat’s Cradle - Carrboro, NC
4/5 The Soapbox - Wilmington, NC
4/6 The Music Farm - Charleston, SC
4/7 Freebird Live - Jacksonville, FL
4/8 Plaza Theatre - Orlando, FL (part of Florida Music Fest)
4/9 Culture Room - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
4/10 State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
4/12 Common Grounds - Gainesville, FL
4/13 Seville Quarters - Pensacola, FL
4/14 New Earth Music Hall - Athens, GA
4/16 World Café Live - Wilmington, DE
4/17 World Café Live - Philadelphia, PA
4/20 Highline Ballroom - New York, NY (w/ AMPLIFY artist John Brown's Body)
4/21 Castaways - Ithaca, NY
4/22 Westcott Theatre - Syracuse, NY (w/ AMPLIFY artist John Brown's Body)
4/23 The Great Hall - Toronto, ON
4/25 Cabaret Mile End - Montreal, QC
4/26 Higher Ground - Burlington, VT

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Congressman Jared Polis to Speak at SSDP Conference

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) will be giving a keynote speech on the evening of March 17, as part of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Training Conference & Lobby Day. Representative Polis is an ally of SSDP and an advocate for sensible drug policies. We are delighted to have him speak at our event.

Other speakers at the conference include:
  • Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake and Just Say Now
  • Brian Wallace, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
  • Aaron Houston, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Jill Harris, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Jasmine Tyler, Drug Policy Alliance
This is very much a conference for students by students! Many sessions and workshops will be led by some of SSDP's most experienced student activists and alumni. 

If you haven't reserved your space at this amazing event yet, register today at

In the video above, Rep. Polis speaks out against legislation that would further escalate the failed war on marijuana and explicitly calls for regulating and taxing marijuana from the well of the House floor. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Anti-Drug War Graffiti in Mexico City

"Calderonismo" -- In reference to Mexico's President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa

These stencilled graffiti appeared on a corner I pass to go to work, Cuauhtemoc and Morelos in the Delegacion Coyoacan. It's a well-traveled corner, in between a vibrant market and a main thoroughfare. A school sits a couple of blocks away. Coyoacan is one of the oldest, most established, and wealthy places in Mexico City. It's a favorite place for a Sunday afternoon stroll. The ice creams are delicious.

The stencil on the left, with a person pointing a gun at somebody's head, with the word, Calderonismo, underneath it, suggests that the President has not offered the country anything but violence. Whether that's true or not is obviously up for debate. But Mexico is certainly beset with little but a concern for violence, much of it from the drug war, and for which some people obviously blame President Calderon.

"Ni uno mas -- Crucifix -- Ni uno mas." (Not one more.)
Since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon entered office in Mexico, 35,000 people have died. And an unkown number have disappeared without trace. The cross is a symbol to commemorate the dead, and the words "Not one more" coupled with the reference to Calderon in the previous graffiti implicitly reject the chilling statisic of 35,000 dead.