Grant Smith is deputy director of the office of federal affairs. In that role, he works to advance DPA’s legislative agenda in Washington and helps to shape policy at the federal level. His areas of focus include harm reduction, overdose prevention and drug user health, emerging drugs and collateral consequences of convictions. Grant also co-chairs the Drug Policy Reform Working Group of the Justice Roundtable.
Grant has successfully worked with lawmakers and stakeholders secure legislative achievements including federal funding for harm reduction providers and the repeal of decades old laws that barred both incarcerated individuals and people with drug convictions from accessing financial aid to pursue higher education. Grant also worked with lawmakers and advocates in the District of Columbia to enact and implement a Good Samaritan overdose prevention law as well as decriminalize marijuana possession. Grant’s analysis and advocacy has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Politico and other outlets.
Before joining the organization, Grant served as a victim services advocate with the federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, completed a one-year legislative internship with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations focused on advancing drug policy reform in Washington, and completed internships with DPA and Transform Drug Policy Foundation in the U.K.
Grant completed a B.S. in political science with a concentration in criminal justice and congressional politics at American University. A native of Savannah, Georgia, where he was engaged in antiracism activism, Grant was drawn into drug policy reform after learning about the racial disparities inherent in the drug war. Grant currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife and daughter.