The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) pulled out all of the stops for their first conference last September in Portland and their next event in San Francisco in February is shaping up to be another fantastic conference. I have not hid my fandom for Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, as I have been urging our readers to vote for him in the “Most Influential” category at the upcoming Cannabis Business Awards. Nadelmann is simply the point man for the marijuana movement and his pleas to the cannabis industry need to be heeded. It is imperative that those benefitting financially by cannabis legalization to support efforts to reform our laws and nobody is making that case more persuasively.
Ethan Nadelmann, founding director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), has an abundance of experience to share with the cannabis industry and community at large. Nadelmann travels the globe, working to legalize and regulate cannabis as well as advocate for sensible drug policies across the board. A former Princeton professor, he uses both wisdom and wit to educate and motivate cannabis entrepreneurs and advocates. He speaks to audiences all over the world and recently gave a fiery TED Talk exposing the harms of the Drug War and calling for change.
DPA has been a driving force behind many successful marijuana law reform measures, including the recent victory in Oregon where the organization was the biggest donor and assisted Oregon advocates throughout the campaign. With several states looking to legalize cannabis in 2016, the biggest prize being California, it is a given that DPA and Ethan Nadelmann will be directing and assisting many of those efforts. Nadelmann will share his experiences working to improve drug laws across the world while providing a glimpse of the future of drug policy reform, including cannabis legalization in 2016 and beyond.
As an Oregonian, I certainly owe Ethan and DPA for their work helping legalize marijuana and know that more states will soon follow suit if activists, businesses and entrepreneurs follow DPA’s lead and donate time and money to their efforts. We must always remember that cannabis businesses need political victories for success and that those electoral wins will men fewer arrests and people in prison. We all can learn a lot from the four states that have already legalized marijuana, but we must remember that marijuana won’t legalize itself, we all need to pitch in as much as possible.