Now is a vital time for the drug law reform movement, as increasingly we see the orthodoxy of prohibition challenged by the stark realities of drug addiction, gang violence, disproportionate policing and the erosion of human rights in myriad ways. There are thousands of reasons to be angry that this stupid state of affairs is still the status quo, but getting angry is not enough. We have to have our voices heard.
I am a passionate believer in the power of a group of people, democratically organised and dedicated to the pursuit of their cause, to effect change. I am proud to tell my family, my friends and my work colleagues that I am part of the group charged with helping run the largest UK student-led organisation campaigning to end the war on drugs. A drugs policy based on evidence and compassion should naturally come from places of education, research and learning in our society, and from the voices of young people who often bear the brunt of prohibition.
For most of us our contact with SSDP UK may have started from a chance meeting at a Freshers fayre, or perhaps through seeing an event and turning up with half an idea in mind about what drugs law reform was about. Perhaps then you came to a social, or a larger event like our day school in 2009 or two national conferences subsequently. Hopefully you're on the facebook group, and maybe perhaps you follow us on twitter.
But; how will you make sure that in years to come SSDP UK is successful in having our voices heard?
For the next two weeks you have the opportunity to fill in a members survey, and after that, to come to our conference in April and share your thoughts about how to ensure the future success of the organisation.
Filling in a survey or joining a discussion group probably doesn't sound very exciting, but out there in our membership is a teeming pool of talent, activism and enthusiasm. Taking a moment to share your thoughts now may well provide the spark lead to the organisation that delivers a fairer drug law reform in the UK within a generation.
So, take five minutes, fill out the survey; tell us what you know we can do more of, and the best way to do it. We promise that we'll be listening.
The deadline for filling in the survey is Saturday the 24th of March.