We started the year by celebrating the accomplishments of local CSSDP chapters and welcoming an almost entirely new slate of board members. We were inspired by the young people all across the country, working towards more equitable drug policy and excited to continue building on the momentum created by events such as Stimulus and initiatives such as the Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit. What ensued was a year filled with challenges we never could have anticipated.
COVID-19 has laid bare and violently exacerbated existing gaps in drug policy. It has led to profound loss and hardships for young people across Canada, especially for those who face continued criminalization of drug use. However, the pandemic also encouraged creativity in engagement and advocacy, with a huge increase in accessibility to community organizers and drug policy experts through the magic of webinars.
Even through all of the ways our lives have been reorganized, CSSDP still thrived. We learned our submission to the Substance Use Action Program was successful, funding further cannabis-related work; we began a strategic planning process that will guide CSSDP’s activities in coming years; and we started to explore how our goals intersect with other social and environmental justice movements.
We remain hopeful for the year ahead, and continue to look to our local chapters for inspiration on what a small group of dedicated young people can accomplish when they come together (on Zoom).
To read our Annual Report for the 2019/2020 year, click here.