Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) is a grassroots network comprised of youth and students who are concerned about the negative impact our drug policies have on individuals and communities. We consider problematic drug use in society primarily a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue, and we advocate for appropriate responses to reduce and prevent harm from drug use.
Our 12 members on the board of directors help establish, run and support chapters across Canada, coordinating events, attending meetings and supporting cross-chapter communication. We have several established chapters, with more starting up every day. We work alongside other corporate organizations, grassroots groups and motivated individuals to increase access and awareness of harm reduction, support evidence-based legislation, and promote drug policy reform on local, national and international levels. Please donate to help support CSSDP’s continued efforts towards sensible drug policy.
CSSDP provides education and resources to empower chapters formed by students and youth in their work on substance use issues facing their peer groups and communities. We mobilize our members to participate in the political process at all levels, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while combating counterproductive drug policies, particularly those that directly harm young people. CSSDP works alongside other organizations and campaigns to support harm reduction, evidence-based legislation, and drug policy reform on local, national and international levels..
The Centre for Excellence in Youth Engagement has found that drug education and prevention programs that meet young people where they are at, even if they are using drugs and alcohol, are the most effective. Education programs like DARE, run by the Police, may be effective in reminding youth that drugs are illegal. However, they have been highly ineffective in seriously reaching young people about drugs in their personal lives.
All policies and programs aimed at reducing the harms associated with drug use in society should address the issue as a public health concern, not as a criminal justice issue. This has been proven to be more effective by studies world-wide.
Drug education is an empowerment. Young people should be provided with all the information available and encouraged to make their own decisions about their physical and mental health. All education should acknowledge and respect young people’s personal experience, a discussion that should be approached only in a space of compassion and non-judgment.