I spoke at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan earlier this month. My talk on what’s new in cannabis tax and accounting was very highly rated and my niece filmed on her iPhone for an upcoming TED talk by me.
The most interesting part of the Expo for me was the keynote address by Roger Stone. For those that don’t know, he is a Republican operative who worked for Nixon while still in his 20s, Regan in his 30s, and most recently is credited as one of the masterminds of Trump’s victory last November.
He won over a skeptical and fairly liberal Manhattan crowd with his libertarian views on gay marriage, social justice in our prison system and states right for legal marijuana.
“I don’t want the Federal Government telling me who I can marry and what I can put in my body,” he said. And “Governor Cuomo needs to get out his pen and start pardoning people in prison for minor drug crimes.”
He was interrupted by applause several times.
The main point of his speech was that we as an industry need to remind President Trump to keep his campaign pledge to leave the question of legal cannabis, whether for medical purposes or adult use, up to the states. It’s a state’s rights issue and Mr. Stone has formed a political action committee to see that the Trump administration and the Jeff Sessions Justice Department respect the States authority to regulate cannabis as their voters decide.
The PAC will reach out to Democrats, Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives to ask President Trump to reschedule cannabis off of Schedule one of the Controlled Substances Act and to leave enforcement of marijuana laws and regulations up to the States. Stay tuned.