Hours per week

15 hours per week




152 N. Union Street
Suite 202
United States


Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM, is a leading voice on drug policy reform in the United States and abroad. We are a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens. SAM has affiliates in 30 states, and its board members include members of almost every major medical organization in the country.

We work directly with legislators and high-ranking executive branch officials at both the federal and state level and internationally, as well as with representatives from civil society and industry. Together we reject dichotomies such as “incarceration versus legalization” and seek a practical drug policy that (A) does not send marijuana users to prison for low levels of use, but also (B) prevents the emergence of a “Big Marijuana” industry and lobby that puts profits above public health.

Research and Policy Intern Position

As we are growing, we seek a smart, energetic intern to work as a research and policy analyst on national and international drug policy issues. In this role, you will work with high-profile members of both the government and medical community, assist in the writing and production of publications with international readership, and interact with lawmakers. 

You will have frequent, direct contact with SAM’s management, as well as the experts that comprise the SAM speakers’ bureau, which connects leading thinkers in this area with interested organizations. You may also involve contact with the media. 

Additionally, your policy research on current issues in drug policy may also complement your academic studies, as you will have an opportunity to become an expert in facets of this issue. SAM leadership will also train you in presentation and research techniques that will be valuable in your future studies and career—the direct supervisor for this position worked a consultant for Bain & Company and will teach you best practices in this respect. Although we are naturally excited about having someone to help us, we also enjoy working with up-and-coming students to refine their skills and achieve their own ambitions. Please apply to join our team!


Through September 30, 2018. If the fit is a good one, SAM would also consider extending the position.



15 hours/week total. Hours are flexible, but SAM expects that most of the work would be done Monday-Friday. We do not necessarily need you to work during the workday, but should you prefer to work in the evenings/at night, you will miss out on accompanying SAM staff to meetings and other events that enrich the internship experience.


 SAM’s offices are in Old Town Alexandria, VA, but much of the work can be done from your own residence, or will be located at off-site locations in the DC area.



·        Perform research on scientific and public opinion trends related to drug policy in general, and marijuana policy specifically, summarizing and documenting results in memos to SAM’s leadership

·        Drafting and revision of legislative briefs and press releases

·        Research and drafting of opinion pieces and letters to the editor

·        Development of high-quality infographics

·        Management of SAM’s speakers’ bureau program


Luke Niforatos, SAM’s Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor


This is an unpaid position.


·        A genuine interest in drug policy issues

·        Current enrollment in an accredited four-year university degree program

·        Experience working on public policy research

·        Excellent English-language writing skills

·        Ability to work independently on research projects, with periodic guidance from management

·        Precision in research and reporting

·        Strong people skills (e.g., poise and street smarts); experience working with media a plus

·        Fluency in Spanish/Portuguese optional but desirable


Unpaid position

How To Apply


Please send electronic copies of the following materials to

1.     An email with the following personal information:

a.     Full name

b.     Current address and contact information

c.     If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident (International students are welcome to apply, as well, but we need this information to ensure we are complying with U.S. immigration laws. Should you be selected and are not a U.S. citizen/permanent resident, we will work with your university to ensure we are compliant.)

d.     The days/hours you are available to work during the internship period

2.     Current résumé, which includes your educational and work experiences with dates.

3.     Cover letter (written in English) addressing the following questions:

a.      Why are you interested in an internship in the area of drug policy?

b.     What skills would you like to attain and/or improve upon during your time interning at SAM?

c.      How will this work experience help you to achieve future work-related goals? 

4.     Transcript (unofficial transcript OK) of your university-level coursework, indicating the grades you have received. 

Application deadline: Rolling admissions, with applications reviewed upon receipt. As such, early applications have a better chance of acceptance.