Learn | 09.05.2022

What Is The Marijuana Policy Project?

You've probably heard them by their acronym MPP.

You may have heard of the MPP, the Marijuana Policy Project. This is a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. but involved in all 50 states.

Founded in 1995 to push for reduced penalties for the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis, it is a social movement organization that works for cannabis and its legalization nationwide.


The co-founders of the MPP are Rob Kampia, Michael Kirshner, and Chuck Thomas.

This group of three worked together in what was called NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Until 1995 when they went their separate ways and the three decided to start their own cannabis organization.

On January 25, 1995, the three activists incorporated the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia.

To this day, MPP has grown to more than 40,000 members and is the largest cannabis policy reform group in the United States.

The Marijuana Policy Project

The mission of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is simple: to end cannabis prohibition.

To achieve this, they have a strategic approach that falls into three main categories:

The States: MPP currently focuses most of its resources on change at the state level.

The Federal Level: The MPP engages in the federal conversation between legislators and federal agencies.

Social Justice: With so much damage inflicted on society, particularly communities of color, by the war on cannabis, legalization must go beyond purely commercial interests.

Undoubtedly, it is an organization that works in favor of cannabis and its consumption, knowing the benefits that this plant has at a medicinal, recreational, and even economic level if analyzed from the business side as such.

If we sum it up: MPP advocates for civil liberty, equality, and justice.

What Do They Do?

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is dedicated to fighting for the legalization of cannabis.

As can be evidenced on their website, thanks to them, 14 medical cannabis laws have been passed, and they have conducted winning campaigns and legislative efforts in 11 of the 19 legalized states.

Ultimately what MPP wants through its policies and activities is to demonstrate that cannabis prohibition has failed and that we are at a point where legalization at the federal level is the way to go.

At both the state and federal levels, MPP seeks to maximize criminal justice reform through the modification of cannabis laws, including the elimination of criminal cannabis laws that can be used as a tool of oppression.

MPP also works for sensible cannabis policies at the state level. MPP has been involved as a driving force behind the various ballot initiatives to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for adults over the age of 21; in some campaigns, it has played a leading role. Some of the states in which it has been involved include Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California. Among many others.

Advocacy At The State Level

The Marijuana Policy Project devotes a significant portion of its efforts to changing laws at the state level. MPP has been responsible for most of the significant state-level cannabis policy changes enacted over the past decade.

MPP and the campaign committees it funded played a leading role in the successful efforts to pass 12 of the 21 most recent state medical cannabis laws and six of the eight most recent decriminalization laws.

MPP is also lobbying and building coalitions to regulate cannabis like alcohol through several state legislatures – Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont.

Federal Lobbying

MPP is not only working to reform cannabis policy in individual states but also at the federal level.

Some of MPP’s key federal goals include gaining support for legislation that would treat cannabis like alcohol under federal law.

Working with members of Congress on bills designed to protect and assist medical marijuana patients and providers and increasing public pressure on the Department of Justice to eliminate prosecutions of individuals acting in compliance with state marijuana laws, among other efforts.

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