Matt Sutton is the director of public relations for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Drug Policy Action, serving as the primary liaison between the organization and members of the media in addition to overseeing DPA’s public narrative work.
Since joining DPA, Matt has been instrumental in changing the national media conversation about drugs, the people who use and sell drugs, the overdose crisis, and drug decriminalization. Among other victories, Matt led Drug Policy Action’s national communications strategy for the Measure 110 campaign, which made Oregon the first state in the nation to decriminalize personal possession of all drugs and greatly expand access to addiction services by redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue.
Prior to joining DPA, Matt spent nearly a decade working in various policy communications capacities for the United States Congress, national advocacy organizations, NGOs, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies.
Matt’s passion for ending the drug war stems from his own personal experience of being arrested on drug charges at 18, spending eight years entangled with the Texas criminal legal system, and facing the lifelong barriers of a criminal record. Witnessing first-hand the harm caused by these policies—that default to locking people up and subjecting them to coercive and ineffective treatment rather than providing them support—he has become deeply invested in changing the current trajectory to ensure drug policies are based in compassion and health over criminalization.
Matt received a B.A. in Political Communications from George Washington University’s School of Media & Public Affairs, where he wrote his thesis on how framing affects motivated reasoning on incarceration policy. Matt is also a 2023 JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction (LwC) leader.