Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

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The Marijuana Policy Project is a US-based organization working to end the prohibition of marijuana. It was founded in January of 1995 and is considered one of the largest marijuana reform organizations in the US.

The MPP is working to end cannabis prohibition on a federal level so that individual states have the authority to regulate it as they wish. It is also working to have marijuana controlled in a similar way to alcohol.

The Policy Project actually comprises of 3 separate organizations:

  • The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP): The main branch of the organization founded in 1995. The MPP is in charge of lobbying and introducing ballot initiatives.
  • The MPP Foundation: A tax-deductible educational branch formed in 1996 dedicated to informing individuals and organizations about cannabis and corresponding legislature.
  • The MP PAC: A branch founded in 2006 charged with donating to congressional candidates working to reform cannabis prohibition.

The Marijuana Policy Project’s headquarters are based in Washington DC. The project usually comprises of around 40 employees, including a full-time lobbyist in Capitol Hill.

THE WORK OF THE MPP

The Marijuana Policy Project works at 2 main levels; in congress and in individual states. It is one of the leading forces behind the movement to legalize cannabis in Washington DC. Its goal is to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes across all 50 states as well as introduce new legislation that replaces prohibition with a simple system of regulation and control.

This system would be very similar to that in place to control alcohol and tobacco. The MPP presented new policy reforms of to the 115th congress which aim to :

  • Modify the Controlled Substances Act so that anyone operating in compliance with state marijuana laws is immune from federal prosecution. This would extend to all marijuana-related activities, both medicinal and recreational.
  • Remove marijuana and all marijuana-related offenses from the Controlled Substance Act.
  • Tax and regulate cannabis, much like alcohol. Cannabis would be imposed with an excise tax that escalates annually, topping off at 25% of sales price.

The MPP has also played a pivotal role in changing cannabis legislation at a state level. It has spearheaded ballot initiatives to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older in Colorado, Alaska; and Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. It was also involved in the campaign for legalized cannabis in California.

The project aims to pass 8 more laws by 2019, all of which will bring the US a step closer to regulating cannabis just like alcohol. Some key targets for the MPP include Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont.

Finally, the MPP also serves as an information resource providing individuals and media outlets with resources about cannabis, its use and effects, and specific pieces of legislation.

More info on their website: www.mpp.org

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