A new coalition dubbed The Cannabis Freedom Alliance was launched Tuesday by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, and criminal reform advocate Weldon Angelos.
The idea for the alliance came up last summer in a Zoom call between Snoop Dogg, Koch, and Angelos, during which Koch revealed his support for the legalization of all drugs.
The organization also counts on the support of:
- Americans for Prosperity: the political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers);
- The Reason Foundation: a libertarian think tank;
- The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce: a cannabis trade organization;
- The Weldon Project: a nonprofit that fights for the release of those incarcerated for cannabis offenses.
Cannabis legalization activists are usually members of left-leaning organizations, such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Furthermore, most legalization supporters in Congress are Democrats, writes the outlet. This is why Koch's support came as a surprise to many.
“We can’t cut with one scissor blade. We need Republicans in order to pass [a legalization bill],” Angelos stated. “I had known that his position on drugs was very libertarian,” Angelos said. “I just didn't know that he supported the legalization of all drugs.”
“We need 10 to 12 Republican senators,” Angelos added. “With Koch’s influence, I think that's likely a possibility.”
Why It Matters
The Cannabis Freedom Alliance aims to impact Republicans like Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee first. Angelos thinks there is a chance others would join after seeing voter-approved legalization ballot measures in conservative states.
The new alliance will further fight for clearing penalties for cannabis-related offenses. It will also focus on helping people stemming from illicit markets have a chance to join regulated markets.
What’s more, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance intends to help with setting up regulatory frameworks that encourage free markets and low tax rates.
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