Day one of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference (OMMBC) has concluded, and the highlight for me was certainly Governor Gary Johnson. I got the chance to sit down with the former New Mexico Governor and chat for a bit. He seems to be an extremely genuine, down-to-earth fellow and it was a pleasure speaking with him. I’ll have more to post soon about my talk with him soon. In the meantime, please check out interview with The Oregonian’s Noelle Crombie:
Gary Johnson, former two-term governor of New Mexico and CEO of a marijuana company, told an audience of cannabis industry representatives that voters, not politicians, are propelling the legalization movement and that dynamic is likely to shift if California says yes to legal pot in 2016.
Johnson, an outspoken legalization advocate who plans to run again for president in 2016, gave the keynote speech Sunday at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference. About 750 people are attending the two-day conference at the Eugene Hilton, said Alex Rogers, the event’s organizer.
When asked what impact marijuana will have in the 2016 presidential election, he responded:
I can’t say but (I have) one observation: In the last presidential race drugs were not even mentioned, wasn’t a part of any debate or any question. Neither side touched marijuana. Rather than them coming on and denouncing drug use or giving the normal drivel on the topic, they just completely avoided it. I hope it changes and if Hilary (Clinton) is the nominee and Jeb (Bush) is the nominee, I hope to run for president and if I do, I think it might receive a lot more attention. What we have moved to now is ‘I don’t do it and I hate it and it’s horrible,’ but we will leave it to the states. That seems to be the new political safe haven.
Head on over to www.oregonlive.com/marijuana for the entire interview.
While not many major politicians are as outspoken as Gary Johnson, it is heartening to see many politicians “evolve” on the issue of marijuana. As time goes along, we will only have more and more elected officials moving towards supporting cannabis legalization, or at least the states’ right to choose their own policy.