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40 years of Prohibition: Candlelight Vigil for Victims of the War on Drugs

June 13, 2011


CONTACT: Jonathan Perri, SSDP Associate Director – (401) 265-9445 or jon@ssdp.org

Tom Wytiaz, West Virginia University SSDP President – (304) 203-2842 or twytiaz@gmail.com

Students Protest 40th Anniversary of Nixon’s “War on Drugs”

Advocacy Groups Hold Candlelight Vigils Across the Country to Honor Lives Lost to Prohibitionist Drug Policies

Morgantown, West Virginia– An international group of students working to end the war on drugs will gather Friday night at de Lazy Lizard, High Street to hold a candlelight vigil as part of a global protest to  the escalating negative consequences of the failed drug war.

WHO:      West Virginia University Students for Sensible Drug Policy
WHAT:    Candlelight Vigil for Drug War Victims
WHERE:  de Lazy Lizard, 345 High Street Morgantown, WV
WHEN:    June 17, 2011 from 7:00–10:00 PM

Friday, June 17, 2011, marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s declaration of the “war on drugs.” His decision catapulted the U.S. into a wasteful, decades-long, failed effort that has had zero impact on drug consumption in the U.S., but has had profound negative impacts on communities in the U.S., particularly ones of color, and around the world. Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Drug Policy Alliance are spearheading efforts across the country to highlight the impacts of this ill-fated war.

At least 50 people are expected to take part in our local vigil, which will feature speaker Dr James Nolan, 2010 West Virginia Professor of the Year and former narcotics agent. Many more students and community members will be participating across the nation and in other countries. The vigil is just one of more than 20 taking place simultaneously around the world including San Francisco, CA and Washington, D.C.

Advocates hope that these vigils will bring much needed attention to the issue of drug policy reform and encourage dialogue on alternatives to drug prohibition. For more information, contact Jonathan Perri at 401.265.9445 or Tom Wytiaz at 304-203-3842. Also visit sensiblemountaineers.com and www.ssdp.org/vigil.


Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counter productive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.

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