After seven years studying and teaching English in West Virginia and Kentucky, Matt Simon moved to New Hampshire in 2006 and immersed himself in state-level politics. In 2007, he founded the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy and began advocating for medical cannabis and decriminalization.
In 2011, he took a break from marijuana policy reform and worked for Gov. Gary Johnson’s presidential primary campaign as New Hampshire Communications Director. He left that campaign in late 2011 and was hired by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as a legislative analyst.
When Matt began working for MPP, his work expanded to other states. He successfully lobbied Vermont legislators to pass a decriminalization bill, which was signed into law in 2013, and in 2018 he helped Vermont become the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislative process, rather than by ballot initiative.
In 2013, Matt’s efforts bore fruit in New Hampshire when it became the 19th state to pass a medical cannabis law. (Previous bills had been vetoed by the governor in 2009 and 2012.) In January 2014, the New Hampshire House became the first state legislative chamber in the U.S. to approve a marijuana legalization bill, but the bill did not advance. The state did finally pass a law in 2017 that decriminalized (but did not legalize) possession.
Matt has appeared frequently on New Hampshire and Vermont radio and television shows, including countless debate segments with police chiefs and other leading prohibitionists.
Matt also served on the drafting committee that wrote Massachusetts’ legalization law, which was approved by voters in November 2016.