Officials at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), one of the nation’s oldest and most influential legalization advocacy organizations, announced this morning that co-founder Rob Kampia will be moving on from his longtime role as the group’s executive director to assume new duties as director of strategic development.
When Rob Kampia co-founded MPP, cannabis was illegal in all 50 states. He had a big hand in changing that.
Matthew Schweich, who joined MPP as the director of state campaigns in early 2015, will serve as interim executive director as the organization searches for a permanent executive director.
Kampia will continue to serve on the two boards of directors for both MPP and MPP Foundation. The two boards made the decision last week.
Troy Dayton, the ArcView executive who sits on the boards of directors for MPP and MPP Foundation, said in a statement that “this transition has been considered carefully by Rob and the board. We desired to shift Rob’s workload one year ago after his intense work on the Nevada and Arizona campaigns. Shortly after election day, Rob quickly shifted gears in December to start the Michigan 2018 legalization campaign. With the Michigan signature drive now complete, it is the right time to shift Rob’s focus to new and bigger projects.”
“I’m looking forward to spending more time on Capitol Hill to help craft and pass the best possible legalization law nationally,” Kampia said. “I also want to focus on legalizing marijuana in three of the 10 most populous states – Texas, New York, and Michigan.”
“I’m honored to have served as executive director,” he added. “I’m excited the board chose the person I nominated to serve as interim executive director, and I’m energized to help identify a new executive director to finish the job of ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S.”
Kampia noted the distance he’s traveled since the group’s founding in the mid-1990s:
“Back in 1993, I moved to D.C. three days after graduating from Penn State for the sole purpose of legalizing marijuana. Fully 19 years later, in 2012, MPP stunned the world by legalizing marijuana in Colorado, and in the four years since then, MPP legalized marijuana in four more states, being responsible overall for five of the eight states’ legalization laws.”
“When I co-founded MPP in 1995, medical marijuana was illegal in all 50 states, and it had been a decade since a good marijuana bill was even pending in Congress. Since 1995, MPP has passed half of the 29 states’ medical marijuana laws, and MPP was the lead organization that successfully lobbied Congress in 2014 to block the Justice Department from interfering with those state laws, and that amendment from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is still the law nationwide.”
The boards for MPP and MPP Foundation will begin a national search for a permanent executive director that is expected to last approximately six months.