MPP Expert Quits, Cites Industry Takeover of Legalization Movement

The lines between the cannabis industry and activism have been blurred, and perhaps even extinguished.

That’s the reason Dan Riffle gave for quitting the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the largest and most influential cannabis activism groups in the country.

According to the International Business Times, Riffle, the former federal policy director for MPP, emailed some of his co-workers before he left, saying the “industry is taking over the legalization movement and I’m not interested in the industry.”

As the Times noted, MPP also last month established a new political campaign “funded by marijuana industry revenues.”

Riffle, who is now working for Michigan Congressman John Conyers, told the Times that the new campaign fund is a perfect illustration of why he resigned.

“I felt for the last few months the industry was kind of dominating the legalization movement’s work in general, and MPP’s specifically,” Riffle told the Times.

That doesn’t mesh with good public policy, Riffle said, because the interests of the industry are financial, whereas those of the public may be strict regulation that cuts into companies’ bottom lines.