The burgeoning marijuana industry continues to experience an upsurge in investments and political contributions, but one may be surprised by how this movement has caught on with Republican lobbyists, who now stand in the trenches with the stoner nation to fight against federal prohibition.
Troy Dayton, Chief Executive for the San Francisco-based investing and market research firm, ArcView, says his company recently raised $150,000 in less than 10 minutes to help pot-proponents in Nevada legalize the leaf. These days, he says, it seems more lawmakers understand the importance of legalizing marijuana. "A little more than a year ago, it would have been worthy of a headline if a sitting politician came to talk to a cannabis group," he said. "Now they are calling us, asking to speak at our events."
Former Republican staff member for the American Legislative Exchange Council, Michael Correia, says he recently switched sides and began working as an advocate for the National Cannabis Industry Association in an attempt to change the pot perceptions of Congress and move the mindset of the United States government over to full-blown legalization.
"People hear the word 'marijuana' and they think Woodstock, they think tie-dye, they think dreadlocks," he said. "It is not. These are legitimate businesses producing revenue, creating jobs. I want to be the face of it. I want to be what Congress sees."
Correia says conservatives should be outraged by the federal government’s blatant disregard for the marijuana industry; allowing these million dollar businesses to operate with no banking protection or eligibility for tax deductions, while continuing to sandbag important medical marijuana research.
“I have legitimacy when I walk into these offices and say, 'This is a cause you can get behind,'" he said. "I am not the stereotypical marijuana movement person. I grew up supporting these principles of limited government and federalism and fairness and individual liberty. This is the ultimate poster child for all of that."
Recently, the National Cannabis Industry created a partnership with the Americans for Tax Reform, who believe the government should not have the right to keep the marijuana industry from deducting business expenses when filing tax returns.
Some financial experts argue that all Congress wants is more money, and changing the tax laws, they say, would generate that money because marijuana businesses would be forced to prove their financial records and pay taxes.
Republican representative Dana Rohrabacher of California recently coauthored a bill that would force the federal government to allow states to dictate their own tax laws for marijuana businesses. "If it was a secret ballot," he said, "the majority of my Republican friends would vote for it."
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.