The Oregonian’s Noelle Crombie Interviews Gary Johnson at the #OMMBC


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 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.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.