Marijuana Policy Project: Cannabis Laws

The Marijuana Policy Project is the leading organization in legalizing marijuana in the U.S.. They have run eight winning campaigns out of the eleven legalization states, and have passed thirteen medical cannabis laws. There is no other organization other than the Marijuana Policy Project that has created new markets, influenced a lot of consumers and patients, and has greatly contributed to the prohibition of marijuana in the U.S. Cannabis prohibition has been lifted. It is time to step up the game, and the Marijuana Policy Project is spearheading the movement. Everyone in this organization, including staff, and strategic partners, is working hard so that, someday, all across the U.S., marijuana would be legalized and always available for all adult patients. While many organizations agree with the ultimate goal of legalizing marijuana, what sets them apart from other organizations is that they have accumulated about 25 years’ worth of experience as the Marijuana Policy Project has been founded since 1995 and has impacted the U.S. cannabis laws by:
  • To allow gravely ill patients to use medical cannabis with their doctors’ recommendations for their treatment, they have been supporting ballot initiative campaigns. They have since been advocating for legislation of pro-medical cannabis laws.
  • Promoting legislation and supporting ballot initiative campaigns for replacing cannabis prohibition with a more reasonable set of laws.
  • Leveraging state progress and Lobbying in Congress to push through sensible federal reform policies
  • Working and making fair cannabis laws that encourage equality, equity, inclusion, and justice for the cannabis industry and in legislation.
  • They are amassing widely-spread mass media for the need to amend federal cannabis laws.
  • They are creating trust, friendship, and coalitions of supportive advocates, either individuals or organizations to push marijuana policy reforms.
  • Giving public free information campaigns, educational activities, grassroots efforts and many more.



In January 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project was founded; the MPP is the largest organization that has solely focused on reforming the existing marijuana regulations into humane cannabis laws.

The Marijuana Policy Project’s mission is to change federal regulations, enabling states to have the power to create their cannabis regulations without the intervention of the federal government. It aims to legalize medical marijuana use all across the U.S and regulate cannabis just like any market, including alcohol and tobacco.

The Marijuana Policy Project is mostly responsible for making a difference in the state of federal cannabis laws since 2000 that have been reformed. These changes include several medical marijuana laws and voting initiatives for marijuana in Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, and Maine. It also supported the California pro-cannabis campaign, and it has also led the Illinois and Vermont campaigns that opened up the way for the two states to be the first to legislatively legalize marijuana in 2018 and 2019.

Two separate organizations make up the Marijuana Policy Project. The main branch of MPP was founded in 1995; they are responsible for the ballot initiative and congress lobbying.The second branch which was founded in 1996, which is a tax-deductible educational branch.

Additionally, the Marijuana Policy Project has been running ballot initiatives in states where the MPP has state committees. Every few years, these state committees are formed and closed.

The Marijuana Policy Project has roughly about 20 employees, most are lobbyists on retainer in a few states capitals across the country, this includes full-time lobbyist on Capitol Hill.


To end the prohibition of cannabis.


The organization wants to improve the laws and lives for the better. It activates, mobilizes resources, and enables people to construct long-lasting policy solutions that combat injustices, promote equity, empower individuals with personal choices, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Strategic Focus

Current cannabis federal laws are evolving conditions that affect the lives of millions. The Marijuana Policy Project has a strategy that centres on three key areas of focus to end cannabis prohibition.

The States

The Marijuana Policy Project focuses most of its resources on marijuana laws amendments at the state level. State laws create large business potential, produce pro-cannabis citizens, and transform the lives of millions of people.

Through the hard work each day of the Marijuana Policy Project, the marijuana legalization campaigns gain more advocates, pro-cannabis citizens, and elected officials in Congress. A lot of people are advocates and supporters of medicine. Some adult-use cannabis programs in their home state, the public image of marijuana all across the country have transformed for the better. Just like the end of alcohol prohibition long ago, they believe that the ending of marijuana prohibition will be due to the states that reject the central position.

The MPP always focuses on amending state laws, especially where it can approve comprehensive, inclusive cannabis laws.

The Federal Level

The Marijuana Policy Project began its work two decades ago on Capitol Hill with a direct lobbying campaign. It continues to make voices heard and engage in the national conversation among lawmakers and agencies.

The MPP recognizes the importance of advancing critical incremental reforms particularly in maintaining a lobbying presence in Washington using a “building block” approach when possible solutions are available even though they believe that pressure comes primarily from the states.

Social Justice

Many damages that have been inflicted to the society by the war on marijuana especially among the communities of colour, cannabis legalization must be transformed beyond pure commercial interests

The Marijuana Policy Project continues its oath to be the loudest voice for equality civil liberty, and justice

The Marijuana Policy Project is finding ways to maximize criminal justice laws on the state and federal levels through amending marijuana laws like expungements and sentence reductions. These also include removing the inhumane punitive illegal cannabis laws which are often used as a tool of oppression.

Its Work

In Congress

The Marijuana Policy Project is spearheading the effort in passing medical marijuana legislation in Washington, D.C. as well as amending cannabis prohibition with a human system of control and regulation. You can visit the Federal Policy page for more information about its past and present work.

In Your State

The Marijuana Policy Project, at the state level, also works with sensible marijuana policies. Their lobbying campaigns and grassroots also have amended several cannabis laws.

They are also the driving force that has ballot initiatives for legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis for adults from 21 and older in:

  • 2012 – Colorado
  • 2014 – Alaska
  • 2016 – Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts
  • 2018 – Michigan

Also, in 2016, MPP assisted in the California pro-cannabis campaign.
With allies, they are still working hard to pass several laws for cannabis like alcohol regulation this year.

Current Campaigns

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana

This is a political committee that supports the legalization of medical use of marijuana in the 2020 constitutional ballot measure.

The reform would give the patients with serious health conditions the right to use medical cannabis as recommended by their physicians.


South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws

This supports two voter initiatives on the state level on the ballot in 2020. The first amendment will create a system to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults 21 and above. This would require new laws for regulating the cultivation and sale of hemp.

The second one would create medical cannabis programs for patients with severe health conditions.


Regulate Rhode Island

Regulate Rhode Island is a statewide coalition of citizens and organizations working to replace the costly and ineffective policy of marijuana prohibition with a system to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. Visit regulate.

The Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition

This is an alliance of organizations that are supporting and working for amendments in the current cannabis policies in Delaware. This includes the lifting of cannabis prohibition and replacing it with systems that regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol.


Goals For 2020 And Beyond

The Marijuana Policy Project’s main goal is to legalize marijuana all across the U.S, and the perfect path it believes is through direct conversations with all the states. They are seeking any country with the strongest will to create tremendous opportunities for success and also where they can be a powerful influence on the national discussions.

Looking to the future, the Marijuana Policy Project is devoting significant resources in several more states for ending prohibition in the next few years. Presently, they are adapting new bills for marijuana regulation to be like that of alcohol by way of state legislatures in Vermont and Connecticut.

They are advocating for a bill in New Hampshire that would legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana. Also, they are now in the midst of multi-year efforts to legalize and regulate marijuana in new additional states such as Rhode Island Maryland, Delaware.

And lastly, they are supporting initiatives for both medical and recreational marijuana use in South Dakota, and they are advocating the Montana 2020 legalization campaign as they are gaining support for a ballot initiative that will legalize marijuana for adults.

The Marijuana Policy Project, as an organization, is aware of the fact that criminal justice and social reform have come to the front lines on the conversation on cannabis legalization. Their work in Illinois is proof that its groundbreaking expungement and equity provisions became the model for states as they adopt new laws. This is the main focus to ensure the fairness of those who have suffered the most from the war on marijuana.