MPP Foundation Mission Statement
The mission of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Foundation is to increase public support for and identify and activate supporters of non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies. The goal is to regulate marijuana like alcohol in all 50 states, D.C., and the five U.S. territories.
MPP Foundation History
Founded in 1996, the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation helps to support the efforts of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) by focusing on public education. MPP Foundation envisions a nation where marijuana is legally regulated similarly to alcohol, marijuana education is honest and realistic, and treatment for problem marijuana users is non-coercive and geared toward reducing harm.
When MPP Foundation was established as a 501 (c)(3) entity, medical marijuana was illegal in every state, and favorable legislation had not been introduced in Congress in a decade. Now, recreational, adult-use marijuana is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. MPP Foundation played a central role in achieving each of these milestones through coalition building, grassroots activities, media outreach, and educational initiatives.
MPP Foundation’s first of many victories took place in 1997, when the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted to adopt a report that (1) recognized the existence of scientific research showing marijuana’s medical value, (2) recommended that doctors and patients should not be punished for discussing marijuana as a treatment option, and (3) urged the federal government to expedite medical marijuana research. MPP Foundation worked for months to influence the AMA by connecting with and gaining the backing of physicians and encouraging them to support and adopt these improvements to their platform. This relationship prospered through the years, leading to the AMA’s 2009 decision to rescind its previous support of classifying marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law alongside LSD, PCP, and heroin.
In March 1999, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its landmark medical marijuana report, finding that “there are some limited circumstances in which we would recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses.” MPP Foundation worked with patient advocacy groups and coordinated the testimony of dozens of medical marijuana patients and researchers at IOM’s hearings in order to make this progress.
Along with MPP, MPP Foundation has been the leading organization behind changing most of the state marijuana laws in the past two decades. From guiding Hawaii through the process of passing our nation’s first medical marijuana law through a state legislature in 2000, to supporting currently ongoing campaigns in Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas to enact similar laws, MPP Foundation has provided the most effective educational materials and unifying messages necessary to build broad support for these crucial reforms.
Connecting and collaborating with local coalitions have been a formula for success, and MPP Foundation has a proven track record of boosting community outreach efforts that lead to positive change nationwide. Most recently, MPP Foundation partnered with Pennsylvania’s Campaign for Compassion and Ohioans for Medical Marijuana to support successful campaigns that expanded access for medical marijuana patients in those states.
MPP Foundation has also been instrumental in putting medical marijuana reform on the agenda of the federal government. Positive medical marijuana bills have been introduced in 11 consecutive Congresses, with the U.S. House even debating and voting on our legislation in the summers of 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2014, and 2015. In May 2014, MPP Foundation played an instrumental role in pushing for the “Rohrabacher Amendment,” which is designed to prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. MPP Foundation continues to educate key stakeholders on the importance of this amendment, which is due to expire on September 30 unless renewed.
Over the course of their 22-year history, MPP and MPP Foundation have been the most consistent and effective leaders in the movement to end marijuana prohibition, working closely with citizens, organizations, and elected officials to establish new policies that are both compassionate and responsible. More than half of U.S. states now have regulated medical marijuana programs, and MPP Foundation continues to provide the resources and strategies that will bring positive change for patients and communities across the country.