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Richard Branson: ‘Fight to Legalize It’

October 17, 2016
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2015, file photo, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Unite, participates in a discussion on "Looking to the Next Frontier" at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The Chicago Tribune reports Branson told a Chicago audience on July 26, 2016, that parents should smoke marijuana with their children. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson told attendees at a San Francisco cannabis conference this weekend that he was in the mood to “take a spliff or two”—and that most of the world is ready for legal consumption, too.

“It has enormous potential with the ability to do a lot of good.”
Richard Branson, entrepreneur

Referencing the work he’s done over the past five years on the Global Commission on Drug Policy, serving alongside former U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan and other world leaders, Branson called for the decriminalization of drugs and for cannabis to be legalized worldwide.

“That’s the only way of sorting out the problems that come with drugs, [from] 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.”

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Branson, who has stakes in about 20 different technology companies across the globe, said he would invest in legalized cannabis if he wasn’t serving on the U.N. commission.

“I certainly would be out there in this industry,” he said. “It has enormous potential with the ability to do a lot of good.”

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Gage Peake

Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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  • Marie Clarens

    Despite the controversies and diverse opinion regarding the legalization of medical mariuajana I think its only a matter of time before this alternative medication is legalized.

    Last September over 550 investors joined a conference featuring 130 cannabis related companies. Personalities in the investment industry like Eugene Monroe, Steve De Angelo, Troy Dayton, Jean Sullivan and Richard Kimball were in attendance. Even Richard Branson is very open to the ideas of legal marijuana. With this massive display of support there is no stopping the legalization of this alternative medicine.

    Here’s the full article for reference: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/start-ups-pitch-largest-marijuana-110000077.html