Richard Branson to Cannabis Advocates: Fight to Legalize it

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Renowned billionaire and tech entrepreneur Richard Branson told a room full of cannabis advocates he was simply in the mood to “take a spliff or two,” and much of the world is ready to legally take some tokes, too.

“Why not?” the Virgin Group founder asked a crowd of about 1,000 people Saturday during the second annual New West Summit conference, “The Future of Cannabis, Now,” in downtown San Francisco.

Speaking via Skype, Branson, an unapologetic cannabis supporter, said he’s spent the past five years serving on the Global Commission on Drug Policy along with former United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan and 15 former world leaders calling not only for the controversial decriminalization of drugs, but also for its legalization worldwide.

“That’s the only way of sorting out the problems that come with drugs by not regulating and leaving it up to the underworld to supply drugs,” he said. “Our commission has worked really quite hard on that. We’ve had some successes and some massive failures, we’re going to keep going until we get governments to see otherwise.”

Branson’s appearance during the two-day confab focusing on the budding billion-dollar emergence of weed immersed with technology, business and media, underscores how big the industry is becoming. It also comes as nine states in the US, including California, are set to vote on possibly legalizing marijuana on Election Day.

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