The State of Mississippi recently announced that MPP, arguably the nation’s largest organization focused on ending marijuana prohibition, would not be granted non-profit status and would not be allowed to raise funds in the state. Their reasoning? Because Rob Kampia, MPP’s Executive Director, was arrested and convicted of growing marijuana while he was in college 26 years ago. “After I was convicted for growing my own marijuana while in college, I co-founded MPP in order to repeal marijuana prohibition in all 50 states — something we can no longer do in Mississippi. This is a ‘circular double screw'” said Kampia.
If you’re scratching your head then you’re not alone. Apparently Mississippi has an obscure law on the books governing charitable donations which says:
The Secretary of State shall deny, suspend, or revoke a registration or an exemption if any applicant, registrant, director, or partner of the applicant or registrant, or any agent or employee thereof who has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving misrepresentation, misapplication or misuse of the money or property of another maintains a position where he or she has access to or control over the funds of the charitable organization.
In their announcement, MPP pointed out that they were unable to reach out to supporters in Mississippi about this issue because of the fundraising law. Kampia called on MPP members from outside the region to donate to MPP in order to fuel their fight with the Mississippi government. “Because I’m not allowed to send this email to MPP’s subscribers in Mississippi, I’m hereby asking you to donate to MPP today so that we can challenge Mississippi’s bad fundraising law and continue our work to change some of the nation’s worst marijuana laws.”
Though this the first time a state has denied MPP the right to raise funds or communicate with stakeholders, Kampia says it’s far from the first time the organization has been discriminated against, citing government meddling in MPP’s finances and retirement plans, IRS audits and more.
Click here to donate to MPP.