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  • American Cannabis Report Editorial Staff

Koch Industries Supports the Cannabis Industry

"You've got a friend in me

You've got a friend in me

When the road looks rough ahead

And you're miles and miles

From your nice warm bed

You just remember what your old pal said

Boy, you've got a friend in me

Yeah, you've got a friend in me"

by Randy Newman, from the film Toy Story

Apologies, this story almost slipped under the radar. Seems the bogeymen of the largely cannabis-supporting liberal tribe have a friend in the Koch Brothers. WTF? {No, srsly ppl, read on...}

Mark Holden, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Koch Industries shares the Koch perspective in a shockingly simple and direct statement released last month.

"In states across the country, from Alaska to California to Maine, citizens have spoken on marijuana. They have voted to legalize and regulate its sale and use for medicinal or recreational purposes. In other states, they have voted to decriminalize its use or possession. Koch believes it should be up to the states to decide whether to legalize or decriminalize it, in accordance with their constitutional and legal processes." (emphasis added)

The 10th Amendment, passed by Congress in 1789 and ratified in 1791, states:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,

nor prohibited by it to the States,

are reserved to the States respectively,

or to the people."

In short, the 10th Amendment guarantees States' Rights, an argument that is often being used in defense of state-legal cannabis businesses.

IT'S COMPLICATED: Koch Industries is a large and powerful company with varied and overlapping goals including criminal justice reform. The company and its politically powerful owners have many socially liberal haters, but on this issue, we can agree:

"The legalization of marijuana in various states has also created an industry

of entrepreneurs and investors—business owners, growers and lawful distributors— whose livelihoods are now at stake because of federal overreach."

Holden uses the example of a successful de-crimilization effort in Washington DC:

"In the District of Columbia, where residents voted in 2014 to permit adults

21 or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and

smoke privately, the number of cases involving the drug

has dropped dramatically—from 4,599 related arrests in 2010 to 587 last year.

In turn, prosecutors have been able to focus on large-scale trafficking

and violent crime instead of simple possession cases."

As we reported earlier, a key benefit of decriminalization and legalization of cannabis nationwide is to focus scarce law enforcement resources on violent crimes such as rape.

For all these reasons, the American Cannabis Report is in favor of Koch Industries's support of cannabis legalization.

(And this rendition of You've Got a Friend in Me.)

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