Article by Dan Culberson, Civilized
Penn Jillette is, by his own admission, a bit of an unlikely candidate for keynote speaker at a Marijuana conference. Despite the fact he has long been in favor of cannabis legalization and an advocate for legalization, he isn’t a marijuana user. In fact, despite appearing on the cover of “High Times” holding copious amounts of cannabis, he’s never even tried it once.
Still, the veteran Vegas magician and performer started his keynote at the 5th Annual Marijuana Business Daily Conference this morning by explaining how his advocacy for cannabis legalization comes from his deeply held libertarian mindset. He believes the government’s right to use force can’t justifiably extend to the enforcement of the war on drugs.
“I certainly wouldn’t use a gun to stop people from using marijuana, ” Jillette stressed. “It seems like people who use marijuana have got to be the best citizens we have. They don’t seem to bother anybody.”
“But more important than that, ” he said to the conference’s mostly cannabis-business audience, “for a libertarian who does not smoke marijuana, does not use marijuana, and is a father and has a family, the most important thing about the legalization of marijuana is getting the money out of the hands of bad people and putting into the hands of you people.”
But Jillette’s most pointed advice for the business audience was more about art than economics. Drawing on Vegas as a metaphor, Jillette reminded the audience about the mob run Las Vegas of the 1970’s and 1980’s.