Article by I Read Culture
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson had a thing or two to say to New Zealand farmers about cannabis in a recent interview with Newshub. Branson told farmers that they should invest in cannabis instead of expanding their dairy operations. Cannabis, he believes, will be as acceptable as wine within 10 years’ time and provide the income they need.
Branson flew to New Zealand in a private jet to speak at a charity fundraiser where tickets to the gala cost upwards of $1,000. There, Branson urged New Zealanders to legalize, grow, tax and regulate cannabis like other nations that have done so.
“We’ve done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it’s been an abject failure, and what is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalised and people who have drug problems should be helped,” Sir Richard told Newshub. But Branson focused on cannabis in his speech. “You should legalise it, grow it, tax it, regulate it. I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers, if you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable.” Dairy farming in New Zealand has created a negative environmental impact by polluting water.
According to William Rolleston, National President of the Federated Farmers, the organization doesn’t completely disagree with Branson’s stance on cannabis. By adding cannabis, Rolleston admitted, farmers could add “string to their bow.”
Branson recently admitted that he smokes with his adult sons and suggested others do the same and smoke as a family. At the gala, Branson also spoke openly about taxing exported bottled water and other topics.