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.

Filter is owned and operated by The Influence Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You can follow Filter on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our daily or weekly email newsletters 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 Broadly, i-D, Pitchfork 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 was proud to be an official media partner of the 2019 Reform conference in St. Louis.


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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.