GOP mega-donor Charles Koch launched the Cannabis Freedom Alliance this week, an idea that was sparked after Koch had a Zoom call with Snoop Dogg.
According to a Politico report, the rapper, Koch, and criminal justice reform advocate Weldon Angelos were on a Zoom call in the summer of 2020 when the idea for the alliance had originated.
It was in January that Angelos had been pardoned by former President Trump after he served 13 years of a 55 year sentence for marijuana traffiking charges.
The alliance aims to “end the prohibition, criminalization, and overregulation of cannabis in the United States.”
The group stated that they are working to accomplish four core values through federal legislative reform: “federal de-scheduling and criminal justice reform, reentry and successful second chances, promoting entrepreneurship in free and open markets and competitive and reasonable tax rates.”
The coalition includes groups such as: Americans for Prosperity, the Reason Foundation, the Global Alliance for Cannabis, and The Weldon Project.
The alliance is hoping that Koch’s prominence among conservatives can help sway 10-12 Republicans to join Democrats across the aisle and pass marijuana legislation.
“We need 10 to 12 Republican senators,” Angelos has said according to the Politico report. “With Koch’s influence, I think that’s likely a possibility.”
Brent Gardner, the chief government affairs officer for Americans for Prosperity, stated, “Americans for Prosperity is excited to work alongside our partners to bring cannabis businesses into the light, replacing black and gray markets with a free and fair legal frameworks. Cannabis commerce will become a way for Americans to lift themselves up, rather than a barrier holding them back.”
This past weekend Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would move forward with legislation to federally legalize marijuana, even if President Biden were against it.
“He [Biden] said he’s studying the issue, so [I] obviously want to give him a little time to study it,” Schumer told Politico. “I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will.”
“But at some point, we’re going to move forward, period,” he added.
Snoop Dogg is not officially part of the coalition.
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