A group of cannabis activists, led by the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), have called for a boycott of the upcoming Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo), because Roger Stone, a campaign strategist to President Donald Trump, will be speaking at the event.
Stone has been praised by some cannabis activists because he could serve as a pro-cannabis influence in the White House, pushing the president to respect state medical cannabis laws and persuading the federal government to consider rescheduling cannabis.
However, much of that changed after the protests by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded, and President Donald Trump was broadly criticized for his reaction to the violent series of events that led to the alleged murder of Heather Heyer by a white supremacist and the deaths of two police officers.
Now a petition has been set up on Change.org, opposing a series of racist comments made by Stone. The petition addresses the CWCBExpo, stating, “Stone’s position on cannabis is positive but it does not excuse his hateful statements and actions taken against women, people of color, Jewish people and other vulnerable positions.”
On social media, #DisownStone began appearing after Stone tweeted racist posts on Twitter. Stone was banned from CNN last year because of his tweets. Many were deleted, but many still remain. His inclusion at CWCBE has led to approximately 30 exhibitors and speakers pulling out of the event.
Additionally, CWCBExpo published a press release to its website entitled, “An open message from CWCBExpo about Roger Stone’s Keynote.” The expo defends its inclusion of Stone, stating, “From its inception four years ago, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition’s mission has been to provide an open forum for the advancement and growth of this industry. To achieve this goal we always have been inclusionary and have provided and open and unbiased, education and business platform for the diverse voices and opinions in this industry to be heard.” The release continues to explain Stone’s contributions to the cannabis industry.
The cannabis industry is certainly not immune to the political division that we’re seeing in America. Many cannabis advocates believe it’s also their duty to stand up against discrimination.