10. GAVIN NEWSOM
Represents: The hopes and aspirations of Millennials in America, Federal government rescheduling and legalizing cannabis in America
The handsome articulate 49-year-old with the perfect looking family is a bit of a mix of JFK and Obama with a lot of potential as a future American president. Newsom is the current lieutenant governor of California—he’s running for Governor in 2018 and holds a strong lead in April 2017 polling by UC Berkeley, per the L.A. Times
Even though Newsom is a relative newcomer in terms of the scope of this list, he already has played a role in American history, bravely presiding over same-sex marriages in 2004 while mayor of San Francisco, defying the homophobic Prop. 8 ballot measure that banned such unions statewide. Like civil rights activists before him, Newsom was threatening his very own political future by holding those gay marriages, as noted by Newsweek.
While Newsom personally doesn’t smoke weed (America is not quite ready for a puffing president… not yet, anyway), he was one of the faces of support for Prop. 64, per Variety, referring to the ballot initiative that legalized recreational cannabis in California in 2016 as a “thoughtful measure.” Newsom’s support helped lend credibility to the campaign and assured Prop. 64 was victorious with a solid 57 percent of the vote.
Assuming he’s elected California governor next year, Newsom will facilitate and provide ideal conditions for a multi-billion dollar recreational cannabis economy to not merely survive—but blossom. We could see banking regulations change under a president like Newsom, and he could readily stand up to anti-weed forces that may linger post-Trump.
Such progressive leadership is necessary, in order to not only dismantle the remaining vestiges of pot prohibition, but also begin to establish a financial and regulatory infrastructure and framework for the cannabis industry to truly make America great again.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, once Newsom becomes governor next year, that should put him on the fast track to run for POTUS in 2024. With a future President Newsom, we may well run full circle; from the first leaders of the nation, the pro-hemp Founding Fathers, to having a president in the 21st century who is pro-cannabis and sees the economic and greater societal benefits to promoting the growth, sale and use of marijuana and hemp in America.