Sam got his start in drug policy as a member of UConn’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, where he worked with Tyler and met Rachelle while collaborating on nationwide projects. While leading UConn SSDP he led a successful campaign for marijuana decriminalization in Connecticut, and after being elected Student Body President on a platform that included drug policy reform, Sam expanded the school’s sober rides program and equalized penalties for underage drinking & marijuana possession. He served on SSDP’s international board of directors from 2011-2013, including a term as chairman, during which he hired the new Executive Director and steered the organization through many other changes. He now works at marijuana consulting firm 4Front Advisors and lives in Boston, MA. While it’s his dream job, he does get sick of talking about marijuana all the time, so This Week in Drugs is his outlet for discussing drugs more broadly.
Rachelle Yeung is the Government Affairs Manager for Vicente Sederberg, the nation’s leading cannabis law firm. She began her career in drug policy reform when she co-founded a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the University of Colorado Law School, and then worked closely with the historic campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado. In 2013, Rachelle moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. She brings a racial justice, social justice, and feminist perspective to all of her work, and strongly resents that “Social Justice Warrior” is a derogatory term. Rachelle hopes that the momentum behind ending marijuana prohibition will lead to ending prohibition against all drugs, and that this podcast will serve as a vehicle for that movement.
Tyler Williams, producer & technician
Tyler met Sam Tracy while studying history at the University of Connecticut, where they worked together at the school’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter. While at UConn, Tyler was also heavily involved in the UConn’s radio station: 91.7 WHUS, where he produced and hosted a weekly UConn SSDP radio show for two and a half years. Currently, Tyler works as an Outreach Coordinator for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. His long-term goal for This Week in Drugs is to provide the drug policy discourse with radical but pragmatic visions of a post-prohibition world, rooted in a nuanced understanding of contemporary drug policy.
Sarah Merrigan, engagement director
Sarah Merrigan first became involved with SSDP as a college freshman when she founded her chapter at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in February of 2013. By founding the first chapter in the state, Sarah became the de facto chapter leader and has helped establish two more active chapters in Nebraska. Shortly after founding her chapter, Sarah participated in Syracuse University’s Drug Policy in Global Perspective study abroad program and traveled to both The Netherlands and Portugal to examine various drug policies from a human rights and public health perspective.
Since getting involved with SSDP Sarah has lobbied at both a state and federal level, spoken on panels about harm reduction and youth involvement in global drug policy, and attended the 58th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs where she presented a side event in collaboration with SSDP UK and CSSDP. Recently, Sarah worked as SSDP’s UNGASS Coordinator intern, helping organize Model UNGASS and other global actions.
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