The Westleaf Staff
More and more powerful people, whether because of their wealth, celebrity status or their positions as corporate leaders and politicians, have begun to express their views in support of ending marijuana prohibition.
One such person is Charles Koch, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist who shared his views on cannabis legalization and spoke openly of his support in a recent Forbes interview by Will Yakowicz.
Koch, a passionate libertarian, has already donated a fortune to various political causes and is now spending impressive sums to support cannabis advocates who are pushing for federal legalization.
“Depending on whom you ask, Charles Koch is a titan of industry, dark money political bogeyman or the Marcus Aurelius of the libertarian movement. But soon Koch might be known as the billionaire who persuaded Republican and Democratic holdouts to legalize cannabis at the federal level,” writes Forbes.
The Question Is...Why?
It is certainly not because he enjoys consuming cannabis from time to time, on the contrary, the only time the 85-year-old CEO of Koch Industries ever tried weed was by accident. It was the ‘80s when Koch was helicopter skiing in British Columbia. While dining with his friends, dessert was served: brownies. No one mentioned to Koch that they were made with cannabis. He ate one, then a bit later felt a little “loopy,” he told Forbes.
This indicates that Koch is getting on board because of his Libertarian philosophy.
“It should be the individual’s choice,” Koch said. “[Prohibition] is counterproductive. It ruins people’s lives, creates conflict in society and is anti-progress. The whole thing never made sense to me.”
For Koch, marijuana prohibition is a disruption of essential human rights and “personal freedom.” He said prohibition also exacerbates U.S.'s mass incarceration problem. According to Koch, the country should have taken the lesson from the “nightmare” of alcohol prohibition.
Approximately 70% of Americans agree with this view. Eighteen states have legalized recreational marijuana and as many as 37 states now have legal medical marijuana programs.