October 21, 2013

Congratulations To Betty Aldworth, SSDP’s New Executive Director

October 21, 2013
betty aldworth ssdp students for sensible drug policy

betty aldworth ssdp students for sensible drug policyLoyal TWB readers know that Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is and has been my favorite organization since we started TWB in 2010. I have witnessed them do things that many older activists could only dream of doing. I have seen SSDP alumni legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon, help lead other organization’s efforts to reform marijuana laws across the country, and spread awareness on campuses and beyond. I’ve worked with many current SSDP members and SSDP alumni, and I can honestly say they are some of the hardest working, most talented people I have every met.

I was sad when I heard that legendary activist (and now former SSDP Executive Director) Aaron Houston was stepping down from his position leading SSDP, but I was ecstatic when I heard Betty Aldworth was filling the void. I wish nothing but the best for Aaron Houston as he embarks on his new adventure, and I want to extend a sincere congratulations to Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Betty Aldworth. Betty is an AMAZING pick, and I know that the good work Students for Sensible Drug Policy has been doing will continue for years to come.

If you haven’t made a donation to Students for Sensible Drug Policy yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. And if you have already made a donation, maybe consider making another one? If there is anything I have ever asked from our readers, donating to SSDP is the most important. Please consider making a contribution today. Below is a message from Betty Aldworth from the SSDP website:

Dear members of SSDP,

More than a decade ago, I was introduced to harm reduction. The concept struck me as so basically humane, so commonsense, that I could no longer understand taking any other approach to social work or drug policy. At the time, I was leading volunteers for educational institutions, and did not conceptualize how I would someday work in harm reduction — but I knew, with great certainty, that I would. Four years ago, I began my work in medical cannabis and marijuana policy, and became familiar with SSDP. And in 2012, I had my first real opportunity to work with SSDP students and chapters while we worked together to pass Colorado’s Amendment 64.

I am honored to be given the opportunity to partner with SSDP’s 200-plus chapters, staff, supporters, and alumni to continue our work ending the drug war. I do not take our charge to change the world lightly. We, the present and future leaders of the drug policy reform movement, have a serious responsibility to fix broken systems, and it cannot be done without the efforts of students and youth. I count myself as astonishingly fortunate to be able to guide SSDP through these next transformational years.

In March, I will be joining the staff of SSDP in the DC office. Between now and then, Stacia Cosner will continue on as interim executive director, a job at which she has already excelled. And in the meantime, I look forward to meeting many of you at the Congress a week from tomorrow.

In solidarity,
Betty Aldworth


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