CSSDP Chair Nazlee Maghsoudi attended the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference, a monumental event for drug policy reform in the US. For the first time in history, the US Drug Czar presented during the opening of the conference. This is a huge step for drug policy reform internationally, as traditionally the US has led the drug war. Learn more about Nazlee’s experience by reading the daily blog posts she created for Harm Reduction Coalition, where she is currently an intern in partnership with International Drug Policy Coalition. Donald MacPherson (pictured above), Canadian Drug Policy Coalition’s Executive Director and CSSDP’s Strategic Advisor, was also at the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference.
On September 30, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy attended the Fed Up Rally on Parliament Hill, which brought out over 100 people advocating for overdose prevention. The original Fed Up Rally started in the US in response to the epidemic of opiate overdoses, and took place for the first time in Canada this year. Author and drug policy activist Donna May was inspired to bring the rally to Canada as a mother who lost a child to overdose. Over the past year, she has worked with drug policy organizations including Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) and the Canadian Harm Reduction Network (CHRN) to organize a rally on Parliament Hill. CSSDP supported and coordinated nine of the Fed Up rally attendees (seven of which are featured above) through the Fed Up Rally Transportation Bursaries, bringing students and youth to Ottawa from Toronto, Hamilton, and Montreal. In addition to participating in the Fed Up Rally, CSSDP also toured some local Ottawa harm reduction services, as well as presented to Members of Parliament (MPs) at an All Party Round Table on the need for drug checking services to prevent youth drug-related overdose and health complications in party settings.