Today through Sunday, experts on U.S. Drug Policy and the medical marijuana movement are meeting with politically minded students from across the nation at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. And while 4/20 is still a month a way, the students debating the pros and cons of drug policy at Students for Sensible Drug Policy's 2012 Conference picked an appropriate spot for the event.
With Colorado, alongside California, leading the way in medical marijuana legislation and dispensaries, it's fitting that political high school and college students from across the nation would gather in what NORML has called the nation's "Cannibas Capital."
The conference rejects a "drug free" focus in favor of a more realistic one, posing the question: What should the country do about marijuana and other drugs? Students with SSDP are set on changing the stigma of their generation from within through developing sensible public policy. The purpose and hope of SSDP is that by empowering students with knowledge and encouraging open and honest conversations about drugs, they will begin to stand up and fight the problems they see in their school and community.
Founded in 1998, SSDP works "for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth," according to their website.
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The Denver conference is slated to feature Congressional hearings, regional meetups, discussion tables, panels and workshops. Scheduled speakers include Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance; Adam Smith, founder of Raise Your Voice, which inspired SSDP; and Steve DeAngelo, CEO of Haborside Health Center, among California's best known medical marijuana outlets. Session topics range from student government leadership, drug policy as a nonpartisan issue, reality-based drug education and first-aid for party-goers to looking at Colorado as a model for marijuana regulation.
For more information about the conference, click here.
More from our Marijuana archive: "4/20 at CU Boulder: Student leaders opt for low-key campaign to shrink event."