Adam J. Smith, J.D.
Founder and Director, Craft Cannabis Alliance
In a career spanning more than two decades, Adam has been sole or collaborative founder of a series of successful non-profits and public policy campaigns, has served on the boards of directors for statewide and national civic engagement organizations, led teams of nurses in collective bargaining negotiations across Oregon, lobbied members of Congress and state legislatures, advised non-profit and for- profit clients on a range of issues, and was a founding partner in a company bringing Pacific Northwest craft beer and artisan wine to Hawaii.
In 1996, Adam launched the nation’s first online newsmagazine and syndicated radio news show focused entirely on domestic and international drug policy reform. In 1998, he conceptualized and launched the Higher Education Act Reform Campaign, which won back the right to federal financial aid for students with drug convictions. As part of the HEA campaign, he shepherded the founding of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the world’s largest student-led drug policy reform organization, now active in more than forty states and 25 countries, and recognized as an NGO at the United Nations. In 2002, Adam joined the founding board of directors of the Oregon Bus Project, and in 2004, helped launch the League of Young Voters, a national civic engagement organization working with young people of color. In 2006, Adam launched the Vote By Mail Project, which successfully expanded access to mail-in voting in multiple states, most notably moving Colorado to full vote by mail elections.
Adam received his B.A. in Urban Studies from the City University of New York, and his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Adam’s writing on drug policy and civic engagement has appeared in more than 40 print and online publications, including REASON Magazine, The Guardian UK, Mother Jones Online, Alternet, and The Razorwire. He has also produced chapters for the books Busted; Stone Cowboys, Narco Lords, and America’s War on Drugs, (Mike Gray, Ed.), Drug Trafficking (Auriana Ojeda, Ed.) and How To Get Stupid White Men Out of Office (Billy Wimsatt and Adrienne Maree Brown, Eds.).