Steven Hawkins Joins Marijuana Policy Project As Executive Director

By Benjie Cooper

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Steven Hawkins

In a press release Tuesday, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) announced that, after months of reviewing potential candidates, they had hired Steven Hawkins as executive director. The MPP is the largest cannabis-focused organization in the United States whose efforts are dedicated solely to reforming marijuana policy in the United States.

Hawkins is a litigator and social justice leader who has previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Executive Director at Amnesty International USA.

“Steve has a strong track record in the field of criminal justice reform, and he knows how to build a movement toward meaningful change,” said MPP chairman Troy Dayton. “We were not only impressed by his expertise and experience, but also his strong convictions regarding the injustice of marijuana prohibition.”

Having started out as an NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorney working against racial inequality in the criminal justice system, he went on to lead the effort to end the New York Police Department’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy. During his time as the program manager at the JEHT Foundation, Hawkins oversaw the financial investment into advocacy efforts to end mass incarceration and remove penalties for marijuana possession.

Hawkins says that even with the progress that is being made with each election cycle, there is still a lot of work to be done and he looks forward to working with the MPP’s national network of supporters, activists, and allies to help put an end to cannabis prohibition once and for all.