Staff

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MicHael Liszewski, principal and Founder

 

Michael Liszewski (J.D., 2011, University of the District of Columbia School of Law), is a leading expert on medical marijuana laws in the United States. Mike’s parents helped foster an early interest in politics, joining his mother as a campaign volunteer a young age. Instead of spending his high school summers as by the pool as a lifeguard, he spent two summers working as a page in the U.S. Senate during the 103rd Congress. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science degree from Towson University, Mike spent his early career as a community organizer in southeast Baltimore for Banner Neighborhood, where he organized block-level improvement projects and after-school sports and reading programs..

As a law student, Mike worked on DC Statehood issues for the ACLU of Nation’s Capital (now the ACLU of DC), defended DC special education students in disciplinary hearings, and served in the DC Council Committee on Health in 2010 as the committee wrote DC’s medical marijuana law. While interning at the ACLU, he led a successful lobbying effort to defeat a “gang injunction” bill that would have increased police harassment of District residents. Mike served on the Students for Sensible Drug Policy's board of directors from 2010 to 2012 and was the student member of the board of the the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital from 2010 to 2011.  

From 2011 to early 2017 he worked for Americans for Safe Access as a policy analyst and lobbyist advocating for programs that best served the needs of patients. There,. At ASA, Mike was instrumental in the 2014 lobbying efforts to pass what was then known as the Rohrabacher-Farr medical marijuana amendment as a rider to the Department of Justice appropriations bill. That same year, he first articulated the legal theory that has enabled the amendment to protect those acting in accordance with state medical marijuana law from federal prosecution. At the state level, Mike led the successful lobbying effort to allow District of Columbia doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients for any condition, transforming the District into a viable medical marijuana market. He was pivotal in passing Maryland’s first workable medical marijuana bill in 2014, as well the 2015 bill that improved the program. Mike has lobbied, testified, and/or provided written comments on medical cannabis programs in over a dozen states and wrote substantial content for ASA’s policy reports.

Since leaving ASA, he founded Enact Group to provide lobby and policy advising services to advocacy organizations on drug policy issues and technical writing and regulatory compliance consulting to business entities seeking to earn and retain state licensure.