A new advocacy group with ties to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch has joined the fight to legalize cannabis.
Announced Tuesday, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) has a stated goal of ending the “prohibition and criminalization of cannabis in the United States.”
News of the group’s launch was first reported by Politico.
According to a news release, the organization’s founding members include several notable groups:
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a right-leaning political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers The Weldon Project’s Mission Green initiative, a nonprofit that works on a broad range of criminal justice issues The Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), an industry trade organization.
“Ending cannabis prohibition and incarceration is a moral imperative,” said Weldon Angelos, founder of The Weldon Project.
Angelos, who was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling cannabis to an undercover police officer, was one of 15 people pardoned by former President Donald Trump last December.
“For too long, cruel laws punishing non-violent cannabis offenses have destroyed the lives of individuals throughout this country — myself included,” he added.
The CFA’s steering members hope to convince Senate Republicans to back federal cannabis reform, including removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, ending criminalization, and conducting research.
“We need 10 to 12 Republican senators,” Angelos told Politico. “With Koch’s influence, I think that’s likely a possibility.”
The formation of the CFA comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) prepares to introduce “comprehensive marijuana reform legislation” this month.
“I support decriminalization at the federal level, and we’ll be introducing legislation with a few of my colleague shortly,” he said recently.
While an overwhelming majority of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized at the federal level, and reform has bipartisan support in Congress. However, Schumer — who told Politico