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- Legislative Policy Internship – Santa Fe, NM, USA PDF Print E-mail



Legislative Policy Internship – Santa Fe, NM
Drug Policy Alliance

Job Code:
USA – Santa Fe, NM

Description –

The Drug Policy Alliance, the country's leading independent drug policy reform organization, seeks an intern in our Santa Fe, NM office to support DPA’s work during the state legislative session. Applicants should either be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, or have received their degree within one year of the start date of the applicable internship. Interns will work closely with staff to research policy issues, analyze proposed legislation and assist with bill tracking and legislative work. Interns and their supervisor will work together to create a regular work schedule with a minimum of 24 hours per week. Interns are encouraged to work more than 24 hours per week if they are willing and able, and many interns opt to do so.  We will be happy to work with students to obtain credit towards coursework.

Deadlines/Available Positions

Winter 2017 Legislative Policy Internship: January 9 – April 28, 2017 (16 weeks)

  • A minimum of 24 hours per week
  • December 31, 2016 is the deadline for applying

Summer 2017 Internship: May 22 - August 11, 2017 (12 weeks)

  • A minimum of 24 hours per week
  • April 17, 2017 is the deadline for applying

The Legislative Policy Internship

The DPA office in Santa Fe, New Mexico is looking for students who are interested in contributing to creating real alternatives to the war on drugs as part of a small office team. Projects will focus on supporting office priorities during the 2017 Legislative Session. Interns will work closely with DPA staff to develop and maintain a bill tracking database. This work includes reviewing proposed legislation related to DPA’s primary issue areas: criminal justice reform, marijuana law reform, and harm reduction. Interns will be responsible for reviewing newly introduced bills, preparing summaries and analyzing proposals with a critical lens, and keeping the database updated as bills move through the legislature.

Additionally we are building a state-wide coalition in support of marijuana legalization, the Grow New Mexico, Legalize Marijuana campaign, and will be hosting New Mexico’s first ever marijuana legalization lobby day during the upcoming session. Interns will help organize, plan and do outreach for this event. Ideal candidates will have a strong ability to function as a team player, be outgoing, enjoy engaging in conversation with people they don’t know, and willing to travel around the state to assist staff with hosting the events.

As a national organization, DPA works on a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) access to substance abuse treatment, including narcotic replacement therapies; provision of harm reduction services, including access to sterile syringes and overdose prevention programs; reduction of drug testing and other pervasive surveillance technologies; eligibility for public benefits for individuals with drug problems or prior drug convictions; lawful use and supply of medical marijuana; adequate treatment of severe and chronic pain; combating the criminalization of pregnant substance abusers; reforming sentencing laws, including advocating for treatment instead of incarceration; and addressing racial disparities in drug laws and sentencing.

The New Mexico office is seeking an intern who is passionate about New Mexico and drug policy issues. Applicants should also have a passion and understanding of the foundation of the drug war as a system of social and racial control, and be grounded in the understanding in the complex and complicated web of laws and policies that must be changed in order to end drug prohibition and repair the damage the drug war has done to our communities.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain a bill tracking database for the legislative session
  • Provide daily updates to staff on bill movement, hearing scheduling and votes for tracked legislation
  • Support the promotional work and execution of a marijuana legalization citizen lobbying day

Qualifications: Interns must possess strong research, writing, and communication skills. Applicants should be able to demonstrate effective problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to multi-task without constant supervision. Individuals with the desire and ability to work in a self-starter organization are especially encouraged to apply. Interns should demonstrate interest in drug policy reform. Some prior experience in policy research and administrative affairs is preferred but not necessary.

Law, public policy, social work and ethnic studies students are encouraged to apply. The ideal intern will be highly organized, have a good sense of humor, be able to work with minimum supervision, and be able to commit to at least 10 hours a week.  This internship requires some travel (potentially a couple overnight trips) and some flexibility to attend events out of town on nights or weekends. In return, the intern will have the chance to work with a highly skilled and fun team of committed people in a unique and professional work environment.

To apply: Please send a cover letter that describes your interest and specifies the program and dates you are interested in along with a resume, contact information for at least two professional references and brief (2-4 page) writing sample (applicable to drug policy reform when possible) to:

Jessica Gelay, Policy Coordinator
by email:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.


This is an unpaid internship.

What do interns do?

The internship consists of an unpaid position designed for individuals who are either enrolled in undergraduate or graduate-level study, or who completed their studies within one year of the internship program start date. DPA interns conduct substantive work that is critically linked to both the day-to-day and long-term objectives of the office.

Project examples:

  • Conducting research on a variety of topics and issues
  • Writing memos, briefs, summaries and letters on the basis of in-office research
  • Conducting research for policy development purposes
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Lobbying activities (limited to phone banking and dropping packets to the Legislature)
  • Some administrative tasks (e.g. running errands, photocopying, assembling packets, answering the general phone line during peak times)
  • Other general, unspecified support for DPA staff

We strive to ensure that your time with us is meaningful – therefore, we keep administrative and monotonous assignments to a minimum. However, there may be busy times when we may ask you to do several in a week. Also, lobbying activities are reserved for those individuals who are not restricted from conducting such activities as part of a school or educational program that explicitly requests no lobbying for IRS/non-profit status purposes.

We expect interns to complete at least 24 hours per week. We are flexible as to when these hours may be served, but interns must be able to work a minimum of four-hour intervals at a time. Interns are encouraged to work more than 24 hours per week if they are willing and able, and many interns opt to do so.  In addition, some DPA interns serve as part of a school-related program that is full-time in nature. Interns and their supervisor will work together to create a regular work schedule with a minimum of 24 hours per week. It is necessary that your supervisor knows what your schedule will be each week for strategic planning purposes.

What can I expect as an intern?

  • Meaningful and substantive work – Most assignments will involve brain power and some creative thinking – research, writing and analysis are common tasks for DPA interns.
  • Support and supervision – Your supervisor will provide ongoing support and provide for informal check-ins. Although formal evaluations are not conducted until the conclusion of the internship, an intern may request formal feedback at any time. If appropriate, DPA may supply you with a reference if required for future employment
  • Room to learn and grow – This internship program is just as much an opportunity for DPA to serve an intern’s academic and career interests as it is an opportunity for an intern to serve DPA. Please do not hesitate to ask questions, utilize the resources available to DPA staff, reach out to other staff in DPA offices across the country, attend drug policy related events around the city, attend congressional hearings and events etc. If an intern is working on a dissertation or other academic pursuit, they should ask their supervisor who they should speak with on a particular drug-related subject.
  • Inclusion in DPA events – We make a sincere effort to notify and invite all interns to any formal (and informal) events that DPA staff is planning on attending.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants normally receive a response after the application deadline has passed.

To Apply

Apply online
here http://www.drugpolicy.org/jobs-and-internships/legislative-policy-intern
Visit us
here http://www.drugpolicy.org

Posted on 28 February 2017
Please mention Policy Jobs when applying for this position


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