, Longtime Marijuana Policy Project chief Rob Kampia stepping down

The founder of Marijuana Policy Project, Rob Kampia, is bowing out as executive director of the organization.

Kampia, who co-founded MPP in 1995, will become director of strategic development and will continue to serve on the boards of directors for both MPP and the MPP Foundation, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Matthew Schweich, who joined MPP in 2015 as the director of state campaigns, will become the interim executive director until the organization finds a permanent replacement for Kampia.

MPP board member Troy Dayton said in the statement the change was made to allow Kampia more flexibility to focus on specific reform efforts.

“Shortly after Election Day (2016), Rob quickly shifted gears in December to start the Michigan 2018 legalization campaign,” Dayton said. “With the Michigan signature drive now complete, it is the right time to shift Rob’s focus to new and bigger projects.”

Under Kampia’s watch, MPP was instrumental in a number of statewide cannabis legalization victories.

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Though he’s often been a divisive figure in the cannabis community, it’s quite arguable that no other activist has had more of an impact on marijuana legalization in the United States than Kampia.

MPP board member Rene Ruiz acknowledged as much in the release and praised Kampia for “enormous and unparalleled contributions to marijuana policy reform efforts across the country for over two decades.”

Kampia said in the release he:

  • Was “honored” to have spent 22 years as MPP’s executive director.
  • Plans to focus on lobbying members of Congress directly for federal reforms.
  • Wants to spend time working on further changes to marijuana laws in Michigan, New York and Texas.