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Job Opportunity, Executive Director, Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative, Washington

The Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative (IDPI), based in Washington, DC, is seeking a new executive director to lead our efforts toward non-punitive, non-coercive drug policies nationwide.

IDPI mobilizes religious denominations and organizations, clergy, and other people of faith to promote the drug policy reform proposals currently under serious consideration in Congress and several states (e.g., medical marijuana, sentencing reform, and needle exchange), while gradually building public support for replacing drug prohibition with reasonable regulations. IDPI has mobilized hundreds of clergy behind successful legislative campaigns.


Candidates must have a proven track record of strong, results-oriented management, as well as outstanding fundraising abilities and excellent oral and written communication skills. Although it is not necessary to be an ordained clergy person, the executive director must have credibility within the faith community and be able to persuade and organize religious leaders from a wide variety of denominations. He/she must be a strategic thinker with high motivation, persistence, resourcefulness, and focus. Non-profit management experience is a plus, whether or not faith-based.


The executive director will maintain IDPI at its present level of operation (three employees) and soon expand the organization into a larger, more formidable opponent of the "war on drugs." The executive director reports to the organization's board of directors, develops the annual budget, and establishes measurable goals in collaboration with other drug policy reform organizations. To these ends, he/she will:

  • oversee IDPI's fundraising efforts (including a membership renewal program) and directly solicit contributions from large donors;
  • ensure that IDPI's strategy is sound and the tactics are effective and cost-efficient;
  • recruit, hire, and manage the staff, with an emphasis on setting and meeting clear and ambitious goals;
  • ensure that IDPI remains in compliance with relevant non-profit laws and financial regulations;
  • participate in some of IDPI's programmatic work, such as directly educating and soliciting the involvement of religious leaders, generating favorable media coverage, and speaking at public forums.


The starting salary is between $70,000 and $85,000, with the possibility of rapidly increasing well beyond $100,000 depending on the success of his/her fundraising efforts.


To apply, read IDPI's Job Application Process and follow the instructions there.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Variety of views, Maximal entheogen theory of religious history

The executive director would benefit from knowing a variety of theories and perspectives about the role of visionary plants in the history of religions, including my Maximal entheogen model of religious origins, which also integrates with a social-political model of New Testament Christianity.

Popular notion taken as fact, and as the only possible view: "Drugs play no significant role in our religion."

Alternative view:
The Entheogen Theory of Religion and Ego Death

Popular notion taken as fact, and as the only possible view: "The Crucifixion is a sentimental and magical event that enables individuals to escape the world and go to heaven after they die bodily".

Alternative view (draft/outline):
The New Testament as It Was Originally Understood: The King on the Cross in the Context of the Roman Empire

Popular notion taken as fact, and as the only possible view: "Wasson and Eliade explained that only in prehistory were drug-plants significant in religious practice."

Alternative view:
Wasson and Allegro on the Tree of Knowledge as Amanita

Existing view propped up by empty arg. from authority

Correction: The last "popular notion" above has to be split into two sentences:
Popular notion taken as fact, and as the only possible view: "Eliade explained that only in the recent, decadent phase were drug-plants used in shamanism. Wasson explained that only in prehistory were drug-plants significant in Jewish (thus Judeo-Christian) religious practice."

As Wasson points out, Eliade simply declared this, on authority, by fiat. And Wasson did the same, in the very same book where Wasson points out Eliade's baselessness and lack of any actual argumentation. What worked for Eliade worked for Wasson, to bluff and mislead the uncritical. All it takes to prop up the already-established status-quo view is to give the fleeting superficial *impression* that scholars have done their work, their due diligence in investigating the question of the role of visionary plants in religion. It didn't require any actual argumentation, and neither Eliade nor Wasson supplied any actual argumentation for their dismissive views, yet everyone has cited their views as if those views were the conclusion of critical scholarship.

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