Conservative Commentator Andrew Sullivan Talks Marijuana
By Steve Bloom
With one foot in activism and the other in business, the second annual International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco Feb. 13–14 was a star-studded affair.
Among the speakers were Tommy Chong, former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Andrew Sullivan (pictured at right), Arjan Roskam from the Green House in Amsterdam, Dale Sky Jones, Debby Goldsberry, Ed Rosenthal, Philippe Lucas and Ngaio Bealum. The event at the Hyatt Regency/Embarcadero included a VIP party and a performance by Bay Area hip-hop legend Del the Funky Homosapien.
Sullivan is the author of The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back and is a frequent guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Here’s a brief interview I conducted with him:
FL: Since you started speaking out on cannabis, many states have changed their laws. Do you feel you’ve had an impact on these changes?
Sullivan: No. My role on The Dish [blog] was to campaign on this for years, rather like my campaign for marriage equality. But I’m just one voice, and the broader, wider chorus is what’s getting the job done. Perhaps by making the conservative case for cannabis legalization, I can help jog some lazy thinking out there on the right.
I believe cannabis is actively beneficial for the individual and society as a whole. What we need to do is make the argument that cannabis is good. We need to stop being defensive and start being proudly positive about the benefits of legal cannabis for everyone, including those who choose not to smoke it.
Bernie Sanders is the best presidential candidate on marijuana issues. Would you consider voting for him?
This will be the first election I can vote in, and all I can say is that I won’t vote for Clinton, Trump or Cruz. The man who could really shift this debate is the current President, regarding the absurd federal classification of marijuana. I suspect his super-stoner past inhibits him from saying this. But we should push more aggressively.
What’s your take on Donald Trump? Will he win the Republican nomination?
It’s perfectly possible that he wins the nomination. I couldn’t vote for him in a million years. He’s a neofascist. He’s the American version of Putin. He could ignite a global religious war. He knows next to nothing about politics or policy. His candidacy should be treated as a farce.
For more info: internationalcbc.com
Read more about what happened at the ICBC, including an interview with Tommy Chong, in the March issue of Freedom Leaf magazine.