by David Hewson

Our annual conference is the one weekend each year that Canadians interested in drug policy are all in the same place. It's a huge country and bringing everyone together is expensive, so we want to make the most of this opportunity. 

To do this, we created a short (5-10min) survey with a few key questions. We then asked some of the first people who registered for the conference to fill it out, and we'll show you their responses below.

Our goal:
– get you thinking about what you want to accomplish at this conference.
– start getting everyone familiar with each other, so that when conference time rolls around we can hit the ground running.
– give us (the conference planners) ideas and feedback on what you're expecting, so we can make this the best conference we can.

Our speakers are particularly interested to know where you're coming from, so if you have questions or ideas for them, put them in the comments. And feel free to get in touch with anyone who's given their contact information.

If you haven't already filled out the survey, please do! We'll post your entries on the blog, like we did with these ones.

Here's the link:

Now that's out of the way, I'd like to introduce our first three contestants. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did.


Tyler Chartrand


CSSDP chapter (or other organization you're involved in):
Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC

Which CSSDP conferences have you attended?
First time!

Were there any tipping points, or “A-ha!!” moments that got you into drug policy reform? 
How did they come about? 
Bill S10 of 2010 is the reason I got involved. I use Cannabis recreationally and took S10 as a personal assault to me as a citizen/student.

What do you want to accomplish at this conference?
Network with like minded individuals/groups to further a growing respectful dialogue of drug policy and the need to move from prohibition to legal regulation. The goal being to have drug policy as a key platform in the next federal election.


Scott Bernstein
Twitter: @redcedarlaw


Speaker – Harm Reduction Panel (Saturday, March 3)

CSSDP chapter (or other organization you're involved in):
Pivot Legal Society
Twitter: @pivotlegal

Which CSSDP conferences have you attended?
First time!

Were there any tipping points, or “A-ha!!” moments that got you into drug policy reform?
How did they come about? 
Yes – I worked on the Insite case as a law student and then as a lawyer at all levels of court. I saw the harms associated with the government's anti-evidence approach to drug policy. I decided to dedicate my career to drug policy reform. Being at the Supreme Court of Canada as a new lawyer was a life-changing experience for me.

What do you want to accomplish at this conference?
Meet some interesting people, learn some things, have a good time.

Anything else to add?
Very happy to be at the conference and honoured to be asked to speak on the harm-reduction panel.

Tera

CSSDP chapter (or other organization you're involved in):
None

Which CSSDP conferences have you attended?
First time!

Were there any tipping points, or “A-ha!!” moments that got you into drug policy reform?
How did they come about? 
I've always been into drug policy reform, but I got a lot more interested when I began working with youth in the criminal justice system and realized how many youth are sent to prison on drug-related crimes.

What do you want to accomplish at this conference?
I know drug policies need to change, but I don't fully understand what changes are realistic. I want to learn more about how drug policies could be be reformed and what I can do to advocate for change.

Anything else to add?
I'm super excited.


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