Drug Reform

Intersecting Movements: Drug Policy Reform and Climate Action

A beginning to end to the War on Drugs falls within the Green New Deal because we cannot move forward as a nation without dismantling that system of institutionalized racism. We have the opportunity to change the world by recognizing drug policy reform’s place in this emerging social movement, and we must recognize our obligation to align with Sunrise Movement.

SSDP Spotlight: Just Say Know, a peer education program for everyone

Although SSDP was founded upon political lobbying from the top down, it has also served as a platform for member-led initiatives of harm reduction and peer education.

Young People of Color As Leaders in The Movement To End the War on Drugs

How do you center the needs and perspectives of people of color in your activism—not because you want to fill a quota, but because the success of your work depends on it?

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The First Step Act is not the criminal justice reform we need. But it’s a start.

Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which makes modest reforms that ease the federal prison population.

Bunk Police Drug Testing

The Bunk Police is looking to destroy dishonesty in the drug market

If there are other harm-reduction organizations, such as DanceSafe, that are able to distribute test kits, then we won’t attend that event....the ones that refuse DanceSafe, we come in and do it anyways.

Pulitzer Prize winner Terry DeMio on life as a heroin beat reporter

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Terry Demio talks about reporting on heroin for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency from Obama, Timothy Tyler is a free man

What’s it like being sentenced to life in prison for selling LSD? Timothy Tyler, a Deadhead convicted of selling LSD and granted clemency by President Barack Obama, talked to Psymposia about his 26 years in prison, and the challenges of adjusting to a brave, new world.

This college just don’t understand harm reduction

There's growing confusion about handling harm reduction on campuses.

Reclaiming Your Identity As A Drug User

Today, we have a world where we can say: “I’m proud to be a woman” and “I’m proud to be gay.” But we can’t say: “I’m a drug-user.”

How should we be teaching students about drugs?

Rhana Hashemi is the site coordinator for drug and alcohol programs and services for Oakland Unified School District. But, to her students, she is just “the drug lady.”

How activists are fighting for full cannabis legalization in Washington, D.C.

When two men entered a party in Uneeda Nichols’ home in Washington, D.C. in August 2017 with a couple hundred dollars in cash, they were greeted as cannabis enthusiasts. No one realized they were undercover cops.

DREAMing about Drug Reform: An Interview with Arturo Lua Castillo

A candid talk with Arturo Lua Castillo, named Outstanding Student Organizer of 2018 by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Humans of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Meet some of the people on the front lines of global drug reform at The Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

Could Oregon be the First State to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy?

A group in Oregon is drafting a ballot initiative for 2020 that would allow individuals to take psilocybin in supervised settings.

Cocaine Tourism in Colombia

Medellín attracts the attention of tourists seeking a new kind of experience: doing cocaine in the city of Pablo Escobar.

The State: The Opioid Epidemic

For anyone who remembers the Reagan Administration's awesome response to the '80s crack epidemic, the Trump plan may prompt discouraging deja vu.

Maine Gov vetoes (admittedly flawed) legal cannabis bill, leaving future sales uncertain

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) vetoed legislation to regulate cannabis sales in the state.

Whitewashing Psychedelics: A Lack of Diverse Voices in the Psychedelic Movement

Nick Powers stands alone on stage as the only black speaker and the last voice to close out a conference on psychedelics.

International Drug Policy Reform Conference Brings Harm Reduction into Spotlight

My destination was the International Drug Policy Reform Conference (Reform 2017). Judging by the throng of young college students crowding the lobby, I knew we were in the right place.

The State: Friday, Oct 27, 2017

To get a vision of the future of psychedelics from a legal and regulatory perspective, the most useful thing to do might be to see what's happening already in the realm of weed.

This british conservative thinks drug prohibition is as intelligent as alcohol prohibition in US

Crispin Blunt suggested that legally regulating cannabis may well drag UK drug policy out of the dark ages.

What the Scientologists can teach us about drug reform

Even with its straightforward-sounding name, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW) hides plenty beneath the surface—namely, a direct connection to the Church of Scientology.

The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The State. This column will look at a few of the more noteworthy stories making waves in the psychedelic and reform spheres, and when appropriate, examine how they fit into a larger context.

10 Reasons to End the War on Drugs and the War on Sex Workers

Just as the drug war makes drug-taking more dangerous and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, the War on Sex Workers makes sex work more dangerous too.

Here are 10 reasons ending the War on Sex Workers makes as much sense as ending the War on Drugs.

Does the First Amendment Protect Spiritual Cannabis Use? A D.C. Activist Plans to Argue For It

A group of cannabis activists held a demonstration outside the White House. They made a Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, non-sectarian, and Rasta prayer over the plant, seeking to highlight the spirituality of cannabis use.

Washington Man Facing Prison After Foraging for Wild Mushrooms

Corbett is facing a potential prison sentence of five years for possession of psilocybin mushrooms.

Psychedelic medicines can help heal the trauma of mass incarceration

Psychedelic therapy has the potential to ignite a paradigm shift within our culture by enabling us to reframe complex social problems as manifestations of trauma.

4 Reasons Why The U.S. Needs to Decriminalize Drugs, And Why We’re Closer Than You Think

There’s an emerging public, political, and scientific consensus that otherwise-law-abiding people should not be arrested simply for using or possessing a drug.

Making a difference in West Africa

I started Ghana’s first and only Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter.

Drug prohibition is morally unjust and pragmatically useless, Pt. 2

Proponents of drug prohibition provide reasons why alcoholic substances should continue to remain legal while substances like LSD should not. No persuasive arguments of that sort are anywhere to be found.

A persuasive case for the decriminalization of drugs, Pt. 1

If neither the state nor defenders of our continued drug policies can provide a rational justification for the continued practice of incarcerating drug users, then the use of punishment by the state against drug users is morally unjustified.

We need ecstasy and opioids in place of Prozac and Xanax

Instead of worrying so much about addiction, which tends to correct itself when life becomes tolerable, maybe we should worry more about the sources of emotional suffering.

A Brief History of the Drug War

Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal? It's not based on science or the relative risks – but has everything to do with who is associated with them.

The families in México who’ve experienced the real consequences of drug prohibition.

The families of the disappeared people have had to organize among themselves, do their own investigations, and push state agents such as the police, judges, and the general attorney to do their job.

Ohio City Gov’t: We have to fine and jail overdose survivors to give them “treatment opportunities”

If someone overdoses from heroin or opiate drugs and has to be revived by paramedics or police with naloxone, they will be charged with “inducing panic.”

The DEA Scheduling System is a Joke

Reducing drug policy down to defining “good” substances and “bad” substances is missing the entire fucking point.

Want to reduce drug use? Listen to women drug users

The most common consequences of drug policies, whether focusing on the supply or the demand side, bring disproportionate harm to women and girls.

Addicted to Weed: VolteFace Launches Black Sheep Report

A legal, regulated cannabis market would help prevent problematic use and give treatment options the radical revamp they need.

In Sweden, Europe’s most LGBT-friendly country, admitting use of cannabis or psychedelics carries a big social stigma

You might imagine progressive drug laws go hand-in-hand with social democracy. It's not the case in Sweden.

How do we reform the police? We talked about it with Neill Franklin, a former cop

Eighty plus percent of police chiefs admit that the war on drugs has failed.

Rethinking the drug war in the classroom

UC Berkeley SSDP members are organizing college classes focused on drug education.

A Weekend for Women and Weed

The nation and the world were rocked this weekend by the Women’s March. The day before, cannabis activist group DCMJ distributed thousands of hand-rolled joints—for free.

Adam Eidinger Calls on Cannabis Community to #SmokeSessions

Cannabis-activist group DCMJ sat in on the Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing.

A Normal Person Who Does Drugs Sometimes

You might think Jane sounds like an asshole, but she is really just a mouthpiece for widely tolerated values.

4 tips to talk to family about drugs over the holidays

Here's some tips for having a transformative conversation over the holidays.

Will drug policy reform be Trumped? We asked the reform community to chime in.

It’s hard to imagine Trump & Sessions stuffing the toothpaste back in the tube, but remember drug prohibition is a lucrative business.

Union of Opposites: Trump Selects War Cabinet, Psychedelics Make Mainstream Waves

"We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist." Carl Jung

We talked with Michael Verdon, an artist who burns down his work.

We talked with Michael Verdon, the artist behind the burning temple at Catharsis on the Mall

2016 Election: A State-By-State Cannabis Recap

A quick look at what happened with cannabis voting in all 9 states.

Mapping Marijuana Legalization

Five states have full legalization initiatives on the ballot. Four will be voting on medical cannabis. Here is a rundown of what each initiative aims to do.

For college students, marijuana regulations cause confusion

As states continue to legalize or decriminalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, more and more students face confusing regulations.

Canada Approves Legal Heroin For Severely Addicted Patients

Canada has amended its policies on heroin to allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering severe addiction.

Half Baked Legalization Reflects Structural Inequalities of the System

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

Destigmatizing Marijuana and Psychedelics in Hong Kong

Through social media, student exchange, and American pop culture, perceptions of marijuana & psychedelics are slowly changing in Hong Kong.

Obama Commutes Sentences for 111, Including Deadhead Serving Life for LSD

Timothy Tyler, was serving a double-life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling LSD.

Getting High is a Human Right: Reflections from Uruguay After Cannabis Legalization

Activists have started creating new spaces for healing, acceptance, heightened consciousness, and fun—a completely legitimate reason to do anything, especially get high.

Envisioning a Sensible Psychedelic Drug Policy

What if honest drug education, harm reduction, long term integration, and acknowledging risks, took the place of propaganda?

J Walking along Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Trail

We would have only one chance to intercept Hillary Clinton in the parking lot.

Activists Bring 51-Foot Cannabis Joint to Hillary Clinton

I had the very strange joy of driving a Hillary Clinton rally with a van full of cannabis activists.

How About a Positive Nicotine and Alcohol Story?

I was a couple strong beers in when I reached over for my friend’s vaporizer and took several drags. It was pretty psychedelic.

Why I Opposed Half-Baked Legalization in Ohio

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

Manny Pacquiao and Rodrigo Duterte support the death penalty for drug crimes

Pacquiao’s drive to reinstate capital punishment for drug crimes is in line with President Duterte: “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

The Youth Movement To End The War On Drugs

Most of the information the “D.A.R.E. generation” was taught in school was sensationalized, exaggerated, or simply factually incorrect (typically all three).

Taking Drugs Seriously: The Reagans, Socrates, and Hypocrisies

No offense to Nancy or the U$ government cocaine-smuggling rings that thrived under the regime of her anti-communist ideologue of a husband, but drugs are endemic to life.


Drug Reform

Intersecting Movements: Drug Policy Reform and Climate Action

A beginning to end to the War on Drugs falls within the Green New Deal because we cannot move forward as a nation without dismantling that system of institutionalized racism. We have the opportunity to change the world by recognizing drug policy reform’s place in this emerging social movement, and we must recognize our obligation to align with Sunrise Movement.

SSDP Spotlight: Just Say Know, a peer education program for everyone

Although SSDP was founded upon political lobbying from the top down, it has also served as a platform for member-led initiatives of harm reduction and peer education.

Young People of Color As Leaders in The Movement To End the War on Drugs

How do you center the needs and perspectives of people of color in your activism—not because you want to fill a quota, but because the success of your work depends on it?

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The First Step Act is not the criminal justice reform we need. But it’s a start.

Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which makes modest reforms that ease the federal prison population.

Bunk Police Drug Testing

The Bunk Police is looking to destroy dishonesty in the drug market

If there are other harm-reduction organizations, such as DanceSafe, that are able to distribute test kits, then we won’t attend that event....the ones that refuse DanceSafe, we come in and do it anyways.

Pulitzer Prize winner Terry DeMio on life as a heroin beat reporter

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Terry Demio talks about reporting on heroin for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency from Obama, Timothy Tyler is a free man

What’s it like being sentenced to life in prison for selling LSD? Timothy Tyler, a Deadhead convicted of selling LSD and granted clemency by President Barack Obama, talked to Psymposia about his 26 years in prison, and the challenges of adjusting to a brave, new world.

This college just don’t understand harm reduction

There's growing confusion about handling harm reduction on campuses.

Reclaiming Your Identity As A Drug User

Today, we have a world where we can say: “I’m proud to be a woman” and “I’m proud to be gay.” But we can’t say: “I’m a drug-user.”

How should we be teaching students about drugs?

Rhana Hashemi is the site coordinator for drug and alcohol programs and services for Oakland Unified School District. But, to her students, she is just “the drug lady.”

How activists are fighting for full cannabis legalization in Washington, D.C.

When two men entered a party in Uneeda Nichols’ home in Washington, D.C. in August 2017 with a couple hundred dollars in cash, they were greeted as cannabis enthusiasts. No one realized they were undercover cops.

DREAMing about Drug Reform: An Interview with Arturo Lua Castillo

A candid talk with Arturo Lua Castillo, named Outstanding Student Organizer of 2018 by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Humans of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Meet some of the people on the front lines of global drug reform at The Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

Could Oregon be the First State to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy?

A group in Oregon is drafting a ballot initiative for 2020 that would allow individuals to take psilocybin in supervised settings.

Cocaine Tourism in Colombia

Medellín attracts the attention of tourists seeking a new kind of experience: doing cocaine in the city of Pablo Escobar.

The State: The Opioid Epidemic

For anyone who remembers the Reagan Administration's awesome response to the '80s crack epidemic, the Trump plan may prompt discouraging deja vu.

Maine Gov vetoes (admittedly flawed) legal cannabis bill, leaving future sales uncertain

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) vetoed legislation to regulate cannabis sales in the state.

Whitewashing Psychedelics: A Lack of Diverse Voices in the Psychedelic Movement

Nick Powers stands alone on stage as the only black speaker and the last voice to close out a conference on psychedelics.

International Drug Policy Reform Conference Brings Harm Reduction into Spotlight

My destination was the International Drug Policy Reform Conference (Reform 2017). Judging by the throng of young college students crowding the lobby, I knew we were in the right place.

The State: Friday, Oct 27, 2017

To get a vision of the future of psychedelics from a legal and regulatory perspective, the most useful thing to do might be to see what's happening already in the realm of weed.

This british conservative thinks drug prohibition is as intelligent as alcohol prohibition in US

Crispin Blunt suggested that legally regulating cannabis may well drag UK drug policy out of the dark ages.

What the Scientologists can teach us about drug reform

Even with its straightforward-sounding name, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW) hides plenty beneath the surface—namely, a direct connection to the Church of Scientology.

The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The State. This column will look at a few of the more noteworthy stories making waves in the psychedelic and reform spheres, and when appropriate, examine how they fit into a larger context.

10 Reasons to End the War on Drugs and the War on Sex Workers

Just as the drug war makes drug-taking more dangerous and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, the War on Sex Workers makes sex work more dangerous too.

Here are 10 reasons ending the War on Sex Workers makes as much sense as ending the War on Drugs.

Does the First Amendment Protect Spiritual Cannabis Use? A D.C. Activist Plans to Argue For It

A group of cannabis activists held a demonstration outside the White House. They made a Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, non-sectarian, and Rasta prayer over the plant, seeking to highlight the spirituality of cannabis use.

Washington Man Facing Prison After Foraging for Wild Mushrooms

Corbett is facing a potential prison sentence of five years for possession of psilocybin mushrooms.

Psychedelic medicines can help heal the trauma of mass incarceration

Psychedelic therapy has the potential to ignite a paradigm shift within our culture by enabling us to reframe complex social problems as manifestations of trauma.

4 Reasons Why The U.S. Needs to Decriminalize Drugs, And Why We’re Closer Than You Think

There’s an emerging public, political, and scientific consensus that otherwise-law-abiding people should not be arrested simply for using or possessing a drug.

Making a difference in West Africa

I started Ghana’s first and only Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter.

Drug prohibition is morally unjust and pragmatically useless, Pt. 2

Proponents of drug prohibition provide reasons why alcoholic substances should continue to remain legal while substances like LSD should not. No persuasive arguments of that sort are anywhere to be found.

A persuasive case for the decriminalization of drugs, Pt. 1

If neither the state nor defenders of our continued drug policies can provide a rational justification for the continued practice of incarcerating drug users, then the use of punishment by the state against drug users is morally unjustified.

We need ecstasy and opioids in place of Prozac and Xanax

Instead of worrying so much about addiction, which tends to correct itself when life becomes tolerable, maybe we should worry more about the sources of emotional suffering.

A Brief History of the Drug War

Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal? It's not based on science or the relative risks – but has everything to do with who is associated with them.

The families in México who’ve experienced the real consequences of drug prohibition.

The families of the disappeared people have had to organize among themselves, do their own investigations, and push state agents such as the police, judges, and the general attorney to do their job.

Ohio City Gov’t: We have to fine and jail overdose survivors to give them “treatment opportunities”

If someone overdoses from heroin or opiate drugs and has to be revived by paramedics or police with naloxone, they will be charged with “inducing panic.”

The DEA Scheduling System is a Joke

Reducing drug policy down to defining “good” substances and “bad” substances is missing the entire fucking point.

Want to reduce drug use? Listen to women drug users

The most common consequences of drug policies, whether focusing on the supply or the demand side, bring disproportionate harm to women and girls.

Addicted to Weed: VolteFace Launches Black Sheep Report

A legal, regulated cannabis market would help prevent problematic use and give treatment options the radical revamp they need.

In Sweden, Europe’s most LGBT-friendly country, admitting use of cannabis or psychedelics carries a big social stigma

You might imagine progressive drug laws go hand-in-hand with social democracy. It's not the case in Sweden.

How do we reform the police? We talked about it with Neill Franklin, a former cop

Eighty plus percent of police chiefs admit that the war on drugs has failed.

Rethinking the drug war in the classroom

UC Berkeley SSDP members are organizing college classes focused on drug education.

A Weekend for Women and Weed

The nation and the world were rocked this weekend by the Women’s March. The day before, cannabis activist group DCMJ distributed thousands of hand-rolled joints—for free.

Adam Eidinger Calls on Cannabis Community to #SmokeSessions

Cannabis-activist group DCMJ sat in on the Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing.

A Normal Person Who Does Drugs Sometimes

You might think Jane sounds like an asshole, but she is really just a mouthpiece for widely tolerated values.

4 tips to talk to family about drugs over the holidays

Here's some tips for having a transformative conversation over the holidays.

Will drug policy reform be Trumped? We asked the reform community to chime in.

It’s hard to imagine Trump & Sessions stuffing the toothpaste back in the tube, but remember drug prohibition is a lucrative business.

Union of Opposites: Trump Selects War Cabinet, Psychedelics Make Mainstream Waves

"We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist." Carl Jung

We talked with Michael Verdon, an artist who burns down his work.

We talked with Michael Verdon, the artist behind the burning temple at Catharsis on the Mall

2016 Election: A State-By-State Cannabis Recap

A quick look at what happened with cannabis voting in all 9 states.

Mapping Marijuana Legalization

Five states have full legalization initiatives on the ballot. Four will be voting on medical cannabis. Here is a rundown of what each initiative aims to do.

For college students, marijuana regulations cause confusion

As states continue to legalize or decriminalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, more and more students face confusing regulations.

Canada Approves Legal Heroin For Severely Addicted Patients

Canada has amended its policies on heroin to allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering severe addiction.

Half Baked Legalization Reflects Structural Inequalities of the System

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

Destigmatizing Marijuana and Psychedelics in Hong Kong

Through social media, student exchange, and American pop culture, perceptions of marijuana & psychedelics are slowly changing in Hong Kong.

Obama Commutes Sentences for 111, Including Deadhead Serving Life for LSD

Timothy Tyler, was serving a double-life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling LSD.

Getting High is a Human Right: Reflections from Uruguay After Cannabis Legalization

Activists have started creating new spaces for healing, acceptance, heightened consciousness, and fun—a completely legitimate reason to do anything, especially get high.

Envisioning a Sensible Psychedelic Drug Policy

What if honest drug education, harm reduction, long term integration, and acknowledging risks, took the place of propaganda?

J Walking along Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Trail

We would have only one chance to intercept Hillary Clinton in the parking lot.

Activists Bring 51-Foot Cannabis Joint to Hillary Clinton

I had the very strange joy of driving a Hillary Clinton rally with a van full of cannabis activists.

How About a Positive Nicotine and Alcohol Story?

I was a couple strong beers in when I reached over for my friend’s vaporizer and took several drags. It was pretty psychedelic.

Why I Opposed Half-Baked Legalization in Ohio

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

Manny Pacquiao and Rodrigo Duterte support the death penalty for drug crimes

Pacquiao’s drive to reinstate capital punishment for drug crimes is in line with President Duterte: “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

The Youth Movement To End The War On Drugs

Most of the information the “D.A.R.E. generation” was taught in school was sensationalized, exaggerated, or simply factually incorrect (typically all three).

Taking Drugs Seriously: The Reagans, Socrates, and Hypocrisies

No offense to Nancy or the U$ government cocaine-smuggling rings that thrived under the regime of her anti-communist ideologue of a husband, but drugs are endemic to life.