Written By Drew Stromberg, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
I’m so proud to welcome SSDP’s newest official chapter to the network, Arizona State University! I’ve been working with chapter leader and co-founder Chloe Antilla and it’s so great to see this chapter get off the ground! I spoke with Chloe about the chapter, what the experience has been like so far, and what the future holds for ASU SSDP;
How did you hear about SSDP?
At the beginning of the fall semester I was searching for a club that would fulfill my interest in drug policy. When I started looking at the clubs offered at ASU I wasn’t finding anything that even came remotely close to what I was thinking. So I decided to ask my older brother what he thought I should do, and that’s when I found out about SSDP.
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
I despise the hardwiring of this country, especially when it comes to the scheduling of drugs. The problems that arise from drug prohibition are much more detrimental than anyone “in charge” had anticipated. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir in this aspect. I also can’t tolerate ignorance when it comes to the TRUTH about drugs. I simply want to educate and encourage reform.
What has the reception been like on campus so far?
People often tend to think SSDP is against drug use altogether. I’m like no no no, we are against the war on drugs. We are against the prohibition of substances that have been deemed useful. We are against ignorance, the wasting of resources, and the denial of a failed system.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters?
This semester we are planning to first educate members and get them up to date with everything they should know. After, we are going to create a petition which will push for an equity policy regarding punishment of being caught with drugs versus alcohol on campus (opiates included). Basically we want the punishment for a kid caught with a doobie to be equal to a kid caught with vodka. The way things are now, the kid with the booze gets a slap on the wrist and maybe a ticket, whereas the kid with the doobie is going to be expelled and put on probation with a felony on his record.. which is not fair or logical in any aspect (especially when Arizona has medical marijuana patients). We will blow them away with stats and simple logic.
What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
My greatest challenge is juggling it all, there are so many things to do when first starting a club so we’ve got to get everything organized before the revolution begins. Another challenge is getting the right group of people to the meetings. We don’t want lazy “stoners”. We want educated people who are passionate about reform.
What is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding aspect of starting a club at the largest university in the nation is the fact that i have the ability to influence by the thousands. All i need is a loudspeaker and maybe a special guest appearance by Tommy Chong.
What are you most excited about for your chapter right now?
Im most excited about getting kids involved and making us known by the community. I know there are other people who care about drug policy reform as deeply and as passionately as i do.. it’s just a matter of getting them to DO something about it. People think their opinion or voice doesnt matter. I want them to realize that it does! By getting them involved, they will witness the change and revolution.
What is your vision for ASU SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
In 10 years, i want to see an ASU SSDP alumni in congress. I want to see the organization have more momentum than ever fathomed. I want to see current policies thrown out the window. I want to kickstart and witness the revolution.. because it will happen. it’s just a matter of time.