MPP (Marijuana Policy Project), the foremost cannabis policy reform organization in the nation, is accepting applications for the position of legislative counsel. The overarching goal of this position is to pass marijuana policy reform bills through state legislatures in the southeastern United States.
Candidates should live in — and telecommute from —Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee.
This high-impact position is ideal for a driven and skillful team player who is motivated by the opportunity to change some of the most regressive cannabis policy laws in the nation. Being a part of MPP’s team means positively contributing to causes as diverse as criminal justice reform, patients’ rights, racial justice, civil liberties, and good governance — with outcomes that are touching countless lives and transforming communities devastated by decades of misguided prohibitionist policies.
This position requires both short- and long-term planning skills, superior oral and written communication skills, and the ability to swiftly and effectively respond to new and/or changing circumstances. The ideal applicant must possess the ability to manage multiple projects, accomplish an ambitious set of goals, and work with a range of internal and external stakeholders in a fast-paced environment.
The position requires the ability to travel (and a valid driver’s license), work after hours as needed, and flexibility to work some weekends — particularly in the first half of the year, when legislatures are in session. The position comes with a salary commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package, including paid time off, health/dental insurance, comp time, and a 401K plan.
MPP provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, MPP complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
The legislative counsel will lead MPP’s cannabis policy reform efforts in eight to 12 states, most or all of which will be in the southeastern United States. The bulk of the staffer’s time will typically focus on a few states where MPP will be engaged in robust advocacy campaigns to either pass medical cannabis law, laws to reduce penalties for cannabis possession to a non-jailable offense (“decriminalization”), or full legalization.
Coordinating with MPP’s contract organizers and lobbyists (where applicable), allied organizations, grassroots advocates, and opinion leaders to advance marijuana policy reform legislation and defeat regressive legislation. This includes:
direct lobbying (meeting with state legislators)
testifying in writing and in person before state legislative committees
developing relationships with local media and conducting interviews
developing informational materials
identifying and preparing other witnesses for legislative testimony, lobbying, and press events
recruiting coalition members, including organizations and community leaders
speaking at and organizing educational events
strategizing and coordinating pressure tactics such as mailings, grassroots phone calls and emails, and ads
spearheading municipal ordinances and/or resolutions
drafting letters-to-the-editor and opinion pieces
developing vote counts
creating and promoting voter guides
Monitoring legislation in assigned states, using an online legislative tracking software.
Writing email alerts and maintaining content for state webpages for all assigned states.
Complying with lobbying, campaign finance, and other ethics laws, including by preparing and filing all relevant ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance reports.
If the candidate is an attorney, drafting legislation and occasionally reviewing contracts.
Strong project management skills — must be able to organize work in a methodical and rigorous manner but equally comfortable in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
Exceptional self-starter who knows how to operate effectively within a complex environment
The ability to create and lead coalitions, including working well with leaders and organizations that have diverse political leanings and missions, recruiting and inspiring volunteer advocates, and building consensus
Advocacy acumen, including the ability to succinctly and respectfully make a compelling case that is tailored to the audience
Team player — low maintenance, no job too big or small, humble. We’re looking for someone who is energetic, positive, and who does not mind helping out to get a job done.
Preferred Qualifications and Experience
Candidates with the following backgrounds are preferred:
experience leading advocacy campaigns;
demonstrated success at building coalitions and recruiting volunteer teams;
a legal background; and
familiarity with and experience related to cannabis policy reform.
Reports to: MPP's director of state policies (Karen O’Keefe), who reports to MPP’s executive director (Steve Hawkins)
Application: To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact applicants we want to invite to advance to the next stage of the process, which will involve a written exercise. Phone interviews, followed by in-person interviews, will be the final stage of the process. No phone calls please.