Roger Stone appearance causes marijuana industry leaders to boycott LA business expo

A large group of cannabis legalization and business experts are calling for a boycott of an industry event that recently booked Roger Stone as a guest, reports Politico. The upcoming Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBE) has lost a number of speakers and exhibitors after announcing Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and outspoken legalization advocate, as one of the keynote speakers. The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) initiated the boycott due to Stone’s relationship with Trump in the wake of ambivalence toward the recent rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., as well as Stone’s own troubled past with racism. Several minority industry leaders also launched an online petition calling on the expo to drop Stone’s appearance. “Inviting Mr. Stone to speak to the crowd, especially as we see the rise of overt racism and anti-Semitism, is an affront to the very movement you purport to promote,” reads the petition. The event has also lost the support of the notable nonprofit organization, the Drug Policy Alliance. “The Drug Policy Alliance has decided to stand in solidarity with our allies and community partners and withdraw our sponsorship of the upcoming Los Angeles and Boston expos that feature Roger Stone as a speaker,” Ellen Flenniken, DPA’s managing director of development, told the LA Weekly. Dan Humiston, the head of the expo, told the Cannabis Industry Journal that “we have to be as inclusionary as we can possibly be. It is nothing more than that.” Jesce Horton, co-founder and chairman of MCBA, disagrees. “If we’re going to make this a better industry, we have to be careful about the compromises that we make,” Horton said in an email statement. “To prop up someone with such a history of racist and misogynist rhetoric as a keynote speaker at this event makes it impossible for MCBA to be involved.” Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.