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The following is a guest post by SFL campus coordinator and Merced College student Nicholas Mejia.

On Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001, I was sitting in my seventh grade math class when my teacher glanced out the window and started frantically trying to turn on the television. As she fidgeted with the remote I, along with the whole class, stared out our third floor classroom window at a smoking New York City skyline.

After she managed to get the news on, we learned that the World Trade Center had been struck by a plane. That day had changed all of our lives and set us, the United States of America, on a path of hate and destruction, or as President George W. Bush put it, “it knocked us onto a war footing.” The enemy, we were told, was the Muslims.

Nine years after the attack on 9-11 I wasn’t a boy any longer, and I was off to fight the war I had seen begin in my seventh grade classroom.

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The SFL Resource HQ has added new swag items! Stock up on SFL stickers and bottle openers and check out our new literature and tabling kits now available at discounted prices for a limited time:

End the Drug War Activism Kit 

Our End the Drug War Activism Kit comes stocked with t-shirts, pens, brochures, posters, stickers, and an activism handbook to ensure you have everything you need to execute a successful End the Drug War event at your school. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out our End the Drug War initiative at EndtheDrugWar.org for videos, viral infographics, blog posts, and other educational resources about the War on Drugs to enhance your student activism!

Introduction to Libertarianism pamphlet

This resource explains the principles of libertarianism, their intellectual foundations, and why liberty is essential for human flourishing. The pamphlet focuses on the cor concepts of Empowerment, Individual Choice, Economic Freedom, Individual Rights, and Tolerance and how liberty makes people’s lives better. This great tool is sure to help you identify students who are libertarian and just don’t know it yet and recruit new members to your group. View the pamphlet online here.

SFL Standard Resource Kit

  • 1 Don’t Tread on Anyone Poster
  • 4 Don’t Tread on Anyone T-Shirts (1 Small, 1 Medium, 1 Large, 1 X-Large)
  • 25 Buttons (7 SFL, 6 Drug War, 6 Peace, 6 Don’t Tread)
  • 25 Stickers (7 SFL, 6 Drug War, 6 Peace, 6 Don’t Tread)
  • 50 Libertarianism Pamphlets
  • 25 Tax Return Chart Books

Get these resources and many more attention-grabbing swag items at the Resource HQ!

The following is part of Satire for Liberty, a blog series by SFL 2014-2015 blogging team member and Senior Campus Coordinator Suzanne Schaefer.

WASHINGTON, DC – In light of an epiphany that banning drugs is backwards and futile, the entire United States government, at both the state and federal level, decided Tuesday to ban the banning of drugs and pretty much everything else, sources confirm.

“Once we realized that banning drug use, production, and sales was ultimately harmful, overly-controlling, and immoral, we all agreed to immediately ban the banning of drugs, and pretty much all other goods and services,” said Democrat Andrew Cuomo, the enlightened governor of New York, who went on to explain that the choice to ban the banning of pretty much everything, not just illicit substances, came from a new and improved understanding of market forces.

“It’s actually fairly simple,” explained Cuomo, “it doesn’t matter if it has to do with cocaine or sugar cane, the same basic moral and economic principles apply.  Free markets and free people lead to prosperity and growth. Consequently, we figured that we should apply the ban on banning to pretty much everything, not just drugs.”

“It really was a no-brainer,” said Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic Senator from California, who recently had the startling revelation that banning the banning of drugs would alleviate the financial burdens caused by packing prisons with nonviolent offenders, as well as would eliminate the high costs associated with militarizing law enforcement to go after these various plants, products, and people. Moreover, Feinstein’s renewed perspective arose from her now overt awareness that banning the banning of drugs would decrease institutionalized racism in America, widespread displacement of families, and would allow students, employees, and athletes alike to keep scholarships, jobs, and awards previously lost due to drug consumption.

“And it doesn’t even stop there,” added Feinstein, “banning the banning of drugs would also effectively destroy the black market, reduce gang violence domestically and abroad, allow the sickly access to legal, safe relief, and boost the economy. Not to mention the added benefit of re-instituting some of Americans’ civil and economic liberties.”

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The United States’ War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. A live feed counting the amount spent on the drug war annually stood at $27 billion at the time of this writing. It has led to death and destruction here and in Mexico. It has created a lucrative black market. It has led to mass incarceration rates higher than any other country in the world. Even after all these failures, another one looms large: The War on Drugs furthers institutionalized racism, decimating communities of color and destroying families.

This isn’t anything new. The War on Drugs was born when Richard Nixon called drug use “Public Enemy #1,” and began a state-funded, state-controlled War on Drugs that has persisted up to the present day. Even though the drug war officially began  in 1971, there had been drug regulation laws in effect for decades before which also disproportionately affected racial minority groups and immigrants. As the Drug Policy Alliance website says:

The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.

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Due to the explosive growth of the International Students For Liberty Conference and the many new programs and features we’re adding this year, we’re happy to announce that for the first time, ISFLC has its own website at ISFLC.org where you can stay up to date with all of the latest details on the conference!

The ISFLC is the premiere event of the year for students dedicated to liberty and advancing freedom on campus. On February 13-15, 2015, the world’s largest crowd of pro-liberty students will gather at the Marriott Wardman Park Exhibition Hall in Washington, DC for a weekend to learn from contemporary leaders in liberty, discuss best practices for promoting freedom on campus, and to get more involved in the larger movement for liberty.

On ISFLC.org, you can:

The 2015 ISFLC is expected to have over 1,500 attendees from over 25 countries on all inhabited continents. The 8th annual conference will focus on how young people are using a multitude of new, decentralized technologies to change the political tide and the relationship between the state and the individual, such as Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, and Bitcoin. The 2015 ISFLC will showcase how liberty is igniting all over the world and will demonstrate that young people are at the forefront of this movement, capitalizing on the transitory period in which we live by blazing trails for freedom that can’t be stopped.

This conference is far greater than the sum of its parts and everyone who has ever attended the conference will tell you that the only way you can understand the energy, excitement, and feeling of community created by this event is by experiencing it for yourselfIf you want to witness the emergence of a more hopeful, outward-focused, results-driven libertarianism, check out the new website and register for the conference before prices go up this fall.