Business mogul, knight, and innovator of in-flight cable television Sir Richard Branson spoke in New Zealand this past week, and he didn't mince words about his support for cannabis. The Virgin Mobile honcho even encouraged Kiwi’s to drastically switch their agricultural economy.
"I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers, if you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable." Branson told New Zealand’s Newshub.
Branson spoke to Newshub just hours before a $1,000-a-seat speaking engagement where he reiterated his pro-cannabis stance.
"We've done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it's been an abject failure, and what is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalised and people who have drug problems should be helped," Branson said.
New Zealand’s farmers may not be ready to throw out their cows quite yet, but William Rolleston, president of the country’s Federated Farmers, is open to the idea, even if it doesn’t happen this month, year, or even decade.
"Farmers welcome any opportunity to add another string to their bow, and would look at that option only if it was legal and profitable to do so... But that is a long way down the track," Rolleston told Newshub.
Cannabis is still illegal in New Zealand, but Branson doesn’t see that as an issue in the long run. Branson thinks that in 10 years weed will be treated like wine, and create a whole lot of opportunities for profit, in New Zealand and beyond.
"We've done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it's been an abject failure, and what is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalized and people who have drug problems should be helped," Sir Richard said. "You should legalize it, grow it, tax it, regulate it."