Wandering through the numerous stages of the Electric Forest Music Festival during the summer of 2013, I noticed a booth that caught my eye. There was a stand set up with a sign called “Amplify.” This booth was not trying to sell or promote anything; no, this booth was different. This booth was for the sole purpose of keeping festive goers-safe. Not only were they providing free ice cold water to wanderers, but they were also handing out free condoms, earplugs, and information packets on drugs. They wanted drug users to be aware of what they were putting into their bodies and to be knowledgeable about the health effects these drugs may have.
I found this intriguing and decided to find out more about this group. After doing my research, I found that Amplify was a partnership program under the international organization called “Students for Sensible Drug Policy” or “SSDP.” Established in 1998, this international group strives to end the failing war on drugs.
As a club here at RMC, we are established as a national chapter within the international group, with Dr. Matthew O’Gara (also RMC’s resident Political Science professor) as our faculty advisor. As a local chapter, we intend to educate our peers on drugs, drug use, drug policy, and more. We hope to encourage open and honest conversation about drugs and the reality of the drug war. The topic of drugs has been categorized as somewhat of a taboo issue in our society and it is our hope that we can crush that negative stigma and instead encourage conversations and information surrounding the topic.
During meetings we plan for future events (local and national), converse over drug related issues and policies, and learn more about the drug war as a whole and how we can step up to make a change. For more information email the club president, Molly Davis, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out our Facebook page!