About Filter

    Filter launched in September 2018 and is based in New York City. Our mission is to advocate through journalism for rational and compassionate approaches to drug use, drug policy and human rights. We cover these and many other, related areas.

    Filter was co-founded by Will Godfrey and Sarah Beller. It is owned and operated by The Influence Foundation, a nonprofit organization. You can follow Filter on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our newsletter here.


    Editorial team

    Will Godfrey – Editor-in-chief 






    Will has worked as an editor and journalist in the human rights and drugs spaces since 2006. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Influence (2015-2017), an award-winning publication covering drug policy and related areas. He also founded and ran Substance.com (2014-2015), a harm reduction-oriented news site, and was previously editor-in-chief of the addiction-focused site The Fix (2013). He formerly co-founded and edited Voice of the Ville, an award-winning print publication for incarcerated people in London. 


    Helen Redmond – Senior Editor


    Helen has written about nicotine, mental health and drug policy for publications including Al Jazeera, AlterNet, Harper’s and The Influence. As an LCSW, she works with drug users in medical and community mental health settings. An expert on tobacco harm reduction, she provides training and consultation on mental health, nicotine use and THR, and in 2016 organized the first Tobacco Harm Reduction Conference in the U.S. Helen is also a documentary filmmaker, and produces original video for Filter.


    Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard – Staff Writer






    Sessi is a writer and organizer interested in cultural criticism, transnational politics and the ways that controlled substances are traded, policed and consumed. Having recently graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Philosophy and Women’s Studies, Sessi has kick-started her writing career, with work appearing in publications like Broadlyi-DPitchfork and them., among others.


    Alexander Lekhtman – Editorial Fellow


    Alexander’s journalism covers the policy, science and culture of drugs. His journey began as an activist with Students for Sensible Drug Policy at New York University, where he served as president, helping organize marijuana legalization and “Ban the Box” campaigns. He was also an organizer for the 2017 New York City Cannabis Parade. His drug journalism career began in 2016, and his work has been published in High Times, Leafly, Merry Jane, AlterNet, Psymposia and Psychedelic Times.



    Filter is proud to be an official media partner of the Reform conference taking place in St. Louis in November 2019. You can register for the event here.




    David Abrams 

    Josiah Bates; Quinn Bell; Amanda Bent; Chelsea BoydElizabeth Brico; Keith Brown; Nigel Brunsdon; Marc Burrows 

    Tessie Castillo; Judy Chang; Samrat Chowdhery; Dolores Cloward; Aliza Cohen; Michael Cooper; John Cross

    Arthur Debruyne

    Troy Farah; Jeselle S. Farias; Brooke FeldmanSeth FerrantiRory Fleming; Kevin Franciotti 

    Tracie GardnerDrew GibsonGiada Girelli; Marewa Glover; Diane Goldstein 

    Hugo Hanson; Jessica Harding; Jesse Harvey 

    Adi Jaffe; Shilo Jama 

    Jess Keefe; Arianne Keegan; Alison Knopf 

    M.L. Lanzillotta; Victoria Law; Alexander Lekhtman; Antony LoewensteinLeili Lyman 

    Lucas Marten; Michael McGrady; Ryan Mirvis; Christopher Moraff; Ray Mwareya

    Rae Nieves 

    Tony O’Neill; Dinah Ortiz 

    Stanton Peele; Steven Proctor 

    JS Rafaeli; Trish Randall; Zach Rhoads; Khary Rigg; Jackie RocheleauIvy Ann RosadoElizabeth Ryan 

    Simon Schatzberg; Kiran Sidhu; Zachary Siegel; Caty Simon; April Smith; Maia Szalavitz 

    Claudio Teixeira; Michelle Tolson; Tessa Torgeson; Ria Tsinas 

    Nancy Uddin; Lizzy Unger

    Sheila P. Vakharia; Jenny Valentish; Jeevika Verma; Louise VincentNiko Vorobyov

    Carrie WadeNeil WoodsSheila Wren Hand

    Erik Kubitschek; PXL Web Development Agency

    Pitching guidelines and contact details

    Please send all email correspondence to: Editor [at] filtermag.org.

    We welcome pitches for feature-length articles around our subject areas, including investigative reports, op-eds, essays and interviews. Please send proposals (rather than drafts) and a sample of your previous work. Due to volume of pitches, we regret we cannot reply to them all; we will get back to you within a week if your idea is one we can use.

    Donate to Filter

    As a nonprofit publication, Filter is funded entirely by donations and grants. If you wish to support our reporting on drug use, drug policy and human rights, please donate using the button below. We’re grateful for your support.