Political strategist Roger Stone, a man who has built a successful career on Capitol Hill by knowing exactly when and where to pull the trigger, is now apologizing for any racist and misogynistic comments he may have made throughout the years after several members of the cannabis community threatened to boycott a huge industry event next month in Los Angeles, where Stone is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech.
“There is no doubt that some of my tweets are too pungent and politically incorrect for my critics,” Stone wrote in his apology, according to The Daily Caller. “I did use a word used by the US Census until 2011 that some construed to be a racial epithet in tweets regarding Allen West, Dominic Carter, and Roland Martin. In retrospect, I see that this attempt at sarcasm can be seen as a slur therefore I heartfully apologize to all this gentleman.
“I don’t expect this apology to appease my critics because, like the President, nothing I say can please them,” Stoned continued. “Like Trump I don’t apologize as a general principle. I am violating one of my own Rules. In this case it’s the right thing to do. I am hopeful some of these gentlemen will accept my apology as it is sincere.”
The controversy began weeks after Stone, a long time advisor to Donald Trump, launched a new bipartisan advocacy group called the United States Cannabis Coalition. The group, which has the support of a number of influential voices, was created to try and persuade President Trump to eliminate the cannabis plant from the confines of the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act and effectively legalize marijuana nationwide.
Despite the fact that Stone, a man with decades of history with Trump, has a better chance at accomplishing this objective than a legion of cold-call cannabis advocates staging protests in the streets of any-town USA, the cannabis community is saying that they do not want or need his help.
The situation spiraled once it was revealed that Stone was marked to deliver the keynote at the upcoming Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in LA. That’s when organizations like the Minority Cannabis Business Association initiated a boycott, posting to Facebook that it has “decided to withdraw from attendance and speaking roles at this conference,” because Stone was scheduled to speak.
It didn’t take long before Orlando attorney John Morgan -- Stone’s number two in the United States Cannabis Coalition campaign -- came forward, calling the cannabis industry’s decision to exclude Stone and his ability to further the marijuana legalization movement a “mistake.”
“It's a mistake. Roger has the president's ear. Politics is not pretty. Sometimes politics makes strange bedfellows. This is such a time,” Morgan told Politico by email. “With the stroke of a pen Trump could make MJ schedule 2. And it would be right and his ratings would soar.”
Respected marijuana activist Russ Belville fired back at Morgan in his latest column for High Times.
Belville said that while he has allies in the cannabis community that often disagree with him on other sensitive issues, “none of my allies would be comfortable leveraging the hatred of people who” call others “negroes,” “cunts,” and “bitches” “to justify progress on marijuana reform.”
“Placing Roger Stone on a pedestal at one of the largest cannabis industry conferences is the apotheosis of Caucasian cannabis community color blindness and tone deafness,” Belville concluded.
Interestingly, throughout all of this controversy, organizers with the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo have refused to pull Stone off the bill. Dan Humiston, who is in charge of the LA event, recently told the Cannabis Industry Journal that he thinks Stone “is an asset to this movement. He has raised a lot of money. He is pushing Jeff Sessions really hard and he’s got Donald Trump’s ear.”
"You don’t need to agree with me or my politics nor do I need to agree with yours to work together in this vital effort," Stone wrote in his letter of apology.
"I will not be deterred from my efforts to persuade the President of the folly of launching a new 'War on Drugs' considering the expensive and unjust failure of the last one and to keep his promise to protect the access to cannabis by millions of Americans including many veterans who are using it for medicinal purposes," he added.