Politics is “context” created by individuals and structures within society, in both formal and informal institutions. Context is defined as, “the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.” Drug policy, then, is more than just a set of laws, but the circumstances which shape those laws in our societies. Those circumstances often relate to some of the most sensitive issues – such as drugs and youth activism. Leaders in Drug Policy show the importance of discussing, understanding, and analyzing the impact of bad drug laws and the reasons for drug policy reform.

Leaders in Drug Policy

Drugs are seen as the loci of social degeneration; youth activists are seen as social degenerates.

Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) examines drug policies through the eyes of youth, citing evidence and inspiring activism. CSSDP is made up of both youth activists interested in drug policy and young people interested in positive reform in society. From local chapters in universities to advisors to the executive committee, students operate the organization to advocate, demonstrate, and educate about sensible drug policy — drug policy based on compassion, evidence, and science, and the harm reduction model of drug policy reform.These students are Leaders in Drug Policy.

The youth and students that run CSSDP and the drug policy professionals, professors and researchers that inspire them provide context to the problem of prohibition. A minor contribution to the discussion about sensible drug policy, harm reduction, and alternative approaches to prohibition and drug law reform comes from conversations with relevant individuals, from the young activist to the expert professor.

My aim is to continue the conversation through interviews with Leaders in Drug Policy. Throughout the coming months, CSSDP will publish a series of interview articles outlining the thoughts, concerns and insights of board members, chapter members, and other leaders in Canadian drug policy. This series will provide context to the ongoing conversation, and insight of how CSSDP and it’s partners are moving policy forward, sensibly.

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Find out more.