Wednesday, May 7, 2008

San Diego: Students and Parents Protest Drug Bust With Mock Graduation Ceremony

Students and Parents Protest Drug Bust With Mock Graduation Ceremony

Groups Call for Life Saving Good Samaritan Policy

SAN DIEGO, CA - SDSU students and a group of concerned parents will
hold a mock graduation ceremony with 77 "missing" students today in
protest of Tuesday's announcement of a massive drug sting
orchestrated by the DEA with the help of SDSU officials. Officials
have described the five-month sting as a response to two recent fatal
drug overdoses on campus, but those gathered today are criticizing
the DEA's show of force as counterproductive and are calling on the
university to enact a life-saving Good Samaritan Policy that
encourages students to call for help during a drug overdose emergency.

Today's demonstration, organized by Students for Sensible Drug Policy
(SSDP), A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing), and
the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), will display 77 empty chairs and
graduation caps, symbolizing the 75 students arrested in the sting,
as well as the two students who died recently of preventable drug
overdoses. Large banners will be hoisted that read: "77 students are
gone, but drug abuse isn't" and "Save lives. Enact a Good Samaritan

WHO: Dozens of concerned students and parents
WHAT: Demonstration and press conference supporting Good Samaritan
Policies and criticizing DEA sting at SDSU
WHEN: 11am, Wednesday May 7th, 2008
WHERE: SDSU, Hepner Hall/Communication Building

"Sensational drug stings will do nothing to reduce the demand for
drugs on campus, nor will they decrease the supply for these drugs
for more than a few days," said Randy Hencken, president of SSDP at
SDSU. " So long as students have the desire to use illegal drugs, and
so long as the prohibition of drugs sustains a lucrative black
market, drug stings will do little more than create openings for
others to step in and supply drugs to SDSU students. This is a
complicated problem that requires complex solutions but the
discussion needs to start here."

Gretchen Bergman, director of San Diego-based A New PATH said,
"SDSU's cooperation with the DEA will make students fearful of
calling for help during overdose emergencies. The best way to protect
our children and prevent drug overdoses is to enact a life-saving
Good Samaritan Policy." Mrs. Bergman is the mother of a graduating
SDSU student who is in long-term recovery from heroin addiction.

Good Samaritan Policies protect students who call for help during
overdose emergencies, and colleges across the country are enacting
them in increasing numbers. Researchers found Cornell University's
Good Samaritan Policy to have dramatically increased the amount of
911 calls related to overdoses, while drug use at the school remained
relatively constant. Close to 100 colleges nationwide and the entire
state of New Mexico have enacted Good Samaritan Policies, and similar
legislation has been introduced in Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island,
and Washington.

* More information about Good Samaritan Policies can be found at *

NEWS ADVISORY: May 07, 2008
CONTACT: Randy Hencken, SSDP at SDSU - (619) 865-3000 or
Micah Daigle, SSDP National - (415) 875-9463 or micah@ssdp.or

California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
-(415) 563- 5858 -

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