Saturday, March 17, 2012

War on Drugs: Richard Branson Asked President Obama for a Weed

Writes the Politico,

When you go to a White House state dinner and you’re lucky enough to get some face time with the president, what do you ask the president?

“I asked him if I could have a spliff,” businessman and Virgin Group honcho Richard Branson told a crowd gathered at The Atlantic’s Washington offices Thursday, the day after attending the dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“But they didn’t have any,” Branson continued, according to a video of the event as he recalled his effort to procure weed the night before at the White House.

What’s he smoking? Well, Branson is a longtime advocate for the legalization of marijuana — and an admitted recreational pot puffer — and spoke at an Atlantic Exchange panel discussion titled “Benchmarching the War on Drugs.” Branson appeared alongside The Atlantic’s Washington Editor-At-Large Steve Clemons and Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

The Atlantic crowd guffawed mightily, which is appropriate: Branson was quick to note that he was joking.

It’s presidential election season, so President Obama’s state dinner has likely been about raising campaign funds. Here we can see how the political leadership can be swayed (or captured) by the interests of big businesses--you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

But the most important point here is that even through a joke, the Mr. Branson seems to have undauntedly delivered the incisive message of legalizing drugs.

Ironically, President Obama has admitted to have used drugs in his youth. (hat tip Business Insider)

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