The Executive Board makes sure the organization is meeting its goals and deadlines, that finances and record-keeping are in order, and that subcommittees are working well together. The executives head the national team and focus on strategy, support and creating opportunities for the rest of the board and chapter members to get involved in sensible drug policy events and campaigns.
Amélie is a soon to be social worker and is completing a masters in social work at Université de Montréal. Through her research initiative, she collaborated with GRIP Montréal on their drug checking project and is still implicated by volunteering for the organisation on many of their projects. Founding member and chapter leader at ECPESP Université de Montréal, CSSDP’s first francophone chapter, her main interests are advocacy, human rights, harm reduction and also mental health. She really believes in community organisations and bottom-up processes networks. She joined CSSDP and the board to help extend its reach by including francophones and ease the accessibility to information and advocacy for all Canadians. She is excited to be part of the organization, and looks forward to making our voices heard, and respected, by working with the other board and chapter members.
Gonzo is a Montreal-based writer with a B.Sc. in Psychology & Neuroscience from Concordia University. A long-standing curiosity about drugs and altered states of consciousness crystallized into an interest in drug policy, research, and activism after attending the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in New York in 2014. Gonzo has written about psychedelics, harm reduction, and drug policy for Reset.me and AskMen, and he writes a column about drugs and the mind in The Link newspaper called Turning Inward. Having gotten involved with CSSDP after attending the 2015 National Conference in Toronto, he looks forward to working with a talented and driven collection of chapters and board members across Canada.
Vice ChairDessy is a professional writing and English graduate with a passion for research in cannabis and grassroots political advocacy. An aspiring project manager, she focuses research, outreach and freelance writing, editing and web development. After getting involved with CSSDP in high school, she founded CSSDP YorkU chapter in 2011 after getting involved with a CSSDP annual conference. She works towards raising awareness and making evidence-based harm reduction and drug education more accessible to youth: Honesty is the best drug policy. As a medical cannabis patient for more than 10 years, she has experienced firsthand the obstacles and impediments caused by bad drug laws. In 2015, she joined the CSSDP national board to connect with youth and policy makers alike and work together towards sensible drug policies on local, national and international levels.
Personnel LiaisonNick is a doctoral candidate at York University. His dissertation focuses on the intersection between drug normalization and harm reduction within the context of dance club culture. Among other things, he advocates for harm reduction strategies that target the environments of club drug use. He draws attention to the ways in which the nightclub and festival settings may limit users’ abilities to employ harm reduction tactics. He joined CSSDP in 2014 and he is the chair of the York University chapter. He is excited to be a part of the Board of Directors and to get more involved with CSSDP.
Michelle will be graduating this summer with a B.A. with Honours in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She will begin her Master’s in Clinical Psychology in the fall of 2016 where she plans to continue her research examining the motivations and outcomes of the recreational and therapeutic use of cannabis and psychedelics. She co-founded the UBC Okanagan CSSDP chapter in 2015 and is currently the chapter Chair. Michelle’s interest in drug policy reform grew from her
concern regarding patient access and barriers to therapeutic cannabis and is continually expanding as she learns more about the harms of existing drug policies.
Kyle Sittek-Lumsden is in his 4th year of undergrad at U of T majoring in political science and sociology. His goal is to get his master’s degree in public policy and have a career working in drug policy reform. He currently works for a criminologist at the university as an assistant on a research project related to recidivism in the USA. Kyle’s main areas of interest in drug policy are injection sites, violence associated with drug markets, alcohol harm reduction, the Portuguese model of decriminalization and psychedelics to treat mental health problems. He has been involved with the CSSDP and drug policy activism for the past year and has helped throw several events for the U of T chapter. Kyle’s main love in life is evidence-based policy and he has decided that drug prohibition is the ultimate failed public policy.
Board of Directors
The CSSDP board members work together in our fundraising, outreach, and political advocacy subcommittees to support our chapters across Canada, develop our annual national conference, and reach our local, national, and international goals. The national team works hard to connect with chapter members across Canada, spread harm reduction and achieve drug policy reform.
Evan is a Computer Science and Biopsychology undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Canada. An instinctual fascination with human behaviour from a young age translated into an obsession with consciousness and altered states of consciousness during his first year of university. From diving deep into sensory deprivation tanks to volunteering in the mental health wards at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, his desire to understand human consciousness is tenacious. After stumbling upon the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the research they are conducting with prohibited substances that have medicinal therapeutic qualities, his passion for psychedelic neuroscience and drug policy was truly ignited. His interests include; how drug policy influences scientific research, law, mental health, physical health, substance addictions, and the health care system as a whole on an individualistic and societal level. After joining the CSSDP in 2015, he’s excited to be working with a devoted grassroots organization of individuals that’s spreading awareness and working on drug policy issues.
Heather D'AlessioHeather is a business student in Ottawa studying entrepreneurship and innovation at Algonquin college with a special interest in the newly emerging cannabis industry after seeing how cannabis as medicine contributed to their uncle’s recovery from an aggressive form of brain cancer. They’re also passionate about the relationship between food, health, and sustainability extending to the potential of hemp as a superfood, biofuel, and biodegradable alternative to plastic. Fascinated by corporate social responsibility, they’re excited to see how revenue from the cannabis industry can be put towards benefiting communities adversely affected by the war on drugs: disadvantaged youth, minority groups, and people with mental illness. Heather firmly believes that abstinence and fear-based education are not effective and that harm reduction is a far more reasonable approach to engaging youth in drug safety dialogue. Lastly, they advocate strongly for drug policy based on human rights and public health. Find her on instagram and on snapchat @heatherdalessio, or connect by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andras is a Master’s student in the Family Medicine Research Program at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is investigating the extent and reporting of patient engagement in HIV research. Andras has been interested in the therapeutic effects of drug-induced altered state of consciousness since high school. He currently serves as the International Representative for CSSDP and is Chair of the Conference Subcommittee, helping work towards drug policy reform and widespread harm reduction. Andras is involved with the McGill chapter of CSSDP.
Aidan HaroldAidan is a grade twelve student from Niagara, and will attend the University of Toronto in the fall of 2016 to study political science. He serves as a student trustee for his local school board and is the Policy Officer of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association. Aidan has worked in a youth advocacy role for his public health unit, with a focus on youth mental health. Attending the UNGASS on the World Drug Problem and the SSDP 2016 conference reinforced Aidan’s passion for advocacy and human rights, and his interest in human consciousness. First getting involved in 2015, Aidan is excited to continue to work with students and youth across the country to call for people-centered and evidence-based drug policy.
Antonio CilleroAntonio Cillero has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineer from Queen’s University. His main interests are promoting harm reduction and fighting against the stigma associated with drug use. He writes about the interrelations between history, religion, culture, and drugs. Last year, he was on a team that translated Alexander Shulgin’s PIHKAL and TIHKAL to Spanish and most recently, he has started collaborating with infocannabis.org as their head translator.
Daniel Greig is a student of Cognitive Science and Bioethics at the University of Toronto. His interest in drug policy is focused on the research of psychedelic compounds and their implications for mental health treatments, consciousness and the development of wisdom. Dan is an engaged member of the U of T community, organizing events around campus for the Cognitive Science Students Union, the Buddhism and Psychology Union as well as CSSDP. He is also a musician, with an interest focus in improvisation and progressive metal. Check out his instagram and academic work.
The CSSDP Board of Directors relies on our advisors to help strategically brainstorm, plan, and execute essential functions for the organization as a whole. Our advisors provide insight, help and support to the CSSDP national team, as well as individual chapters across Canada. Their invaluable advice and experience is integral to how CSSDP functions on a local, national and international level, and they help the national team make and reach our collective goals.
Jenna is a doctoral candidate in Sociology and the Collaborative Addiction Studies at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation looks at social movements, entrepreneurship and the emergence of new industries, focusing on the transition to the new federal medicinal cannabis program in Canada. Over the years, she has developed an increasing interest in advocacy around evidence-based drug policy reform and patient rights. She was on the CSSDP board of directors from November 2013, and was the Conference Chair for CSSDP’s 2015 conference in Toronto, Ontario. She also sat on the steering committee for the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition as the CSSDP representative, and a volunteer for NORML Canada, both of which provides an exciting opportunity to connect with some of her favourite drug policy reform advocates and researchers!
Alexander is a sociology and anthropology undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University. His interest in drug policy first began as a student with CSSDP-SFU. His interests revolve around how drug policy directly impacts individuals and also has an interest in the larger electronic dance subculture. Alexander was on the board of directors with CSSDP since November 2013, and was the Co-Chair of CSSDP-SFU since September 2013.
Nazlee is the Knowledge Translation Manager at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP). Her enthusiasm for drug policy reform has led her to advocate at the grassroots, national, and international levels. Her focus is on illicit drug policy reform, with an emphasis on the UN Drug Conventions and the international drug control regime. She worked specifically on these issues while interning at International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction Coalition. Nazlee is also a volunteer at TRIP! Project, a nightlife harm reduction program in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto.
Donald MacPherson is the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and one of Canada’s leading figures in drug policy. He advocates policies based on principles of public health, human rights, social inclusion, and scientific evidence and moving away from a criminal justice paradigm where people with health problems are criminalized.
MacPherson worked for the City of Vancouver for 22 years, first as Director of the Carnegie Community Centre in the Downtown Eastside and the last 12 as Drug Policy Coordinator for the City. In 2000 he published Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy that precipitated a broad public discussion on issues related to addiction.
In 2007 he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada. In 2009 the City of Vancouver was awarded the Canadian Urban Institutes Secure City Award for the Four Pillars Drug Strategy. In 2009 MacPherson was awarded the Richard Dennis Drug Peace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform by the Drug Policy Alliance in the United States. MacPherson is involved at local, national and international levels and is a founding member of the Drug Policy Coalition.