Q: What brings you out for the New Jersey legalization campaign?
A: Well, I was the co-sponsor, funder and leading spokesperson of I-502, which legalized and taxed and regulated marijuana in Washington State back in the breakout year of 2012, when Washington and Colorado were the first states to do this.
I’ve long been an advocate for ending the prohibition against marijuana and what I bring to the discussion is European sensibility. You know, with my work, I spend 100 days in Europe every year for the last 30 years, and I’m really interested in comparing the two societies because we were struggling with the same problems, and we should be able to compare notes because we want to figure it out.
I’ve jumped at every opportunity I can to make a difference in the fight to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. I don’t get into medicinal use, that’s important and I agree with it, but my thing is civil liberties, and fighting racism, and just a pragmatic harm reduction approach to soft drugs.
Every two years, marijuana is on (the ballot) in different states as we work to get enough states where we can bring it down from a federal point of view, but prohibitions are taken down one state at a time until you reach a critical mass and then the government realizes the rising tide of sensibility and drop prohibition.
After Washington State in 2012, I worked and succeeded in Oregon in 2014, and then in 2016, I spent a lot of time and money in Massachusetts and Maine, in 2018. I was in Illinois, and Michigan, and all of those states were victorious.