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By Ayad Maher
Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and even the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, have all admitted to smoking pot. Now, some of these names might not come as a surprise to many, but these admissions seem to signal that it is now more acceptable to openly discuss cannabis consumption and legalization in the business world.
Current and former CEOs, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Whole Foods’ John Mackey, have spoken out in favor of decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana, and some say that they would even invest in the cannabis industry if given the opportunity. Others have even contributed significant donations into legalization initiatives around the country. It seems that a growing number of the world’s most successful, intelligent, and influential people are recognizing the potential of pot, and are working to move forward and break down stigmas. Join the club!
Here are some of our favorites marijuana quotes about pot legalization and why ganja should be legalized from top business people across a variety of industries:
“When we start doing things with our parents that we also do with our friends, like smoking weed, it means that the existing parent/child dynamic changes. For better or worse, it means inviting our parents into our lives, and taking all the responsibility that comes with it.” ~ Richard Branson
"US jails hold around 2.4 million people — about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely than whites to be arrested for possession and sale of marijuana and to receive a conviction and criminal record, even though the majority of marijuana users are non-Hispanic whites. Almost 40 percent of prisoners are black. More than half the people entering prison live below the poverty line. Our entire society pays the price for an unfair, broken system." ~ Mark Zuckerberg
“Smoking helped put me in touch with the realm of the senses.” ~ Hugh Hefner
“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” ~ Henry Ford
"You bet I did and I enjoyed it." ~ Michael Bloomberg
"You either make it illegal, in which case you support a huge underground economy or you tax it within the limits people can afford." ~ Kevin O'Leary
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom calls on cannabis community to campaign for legalization in November 2016.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2017, around my dad's birthday, and has been revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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