Steve DeAngelo is a progressive visionary in the United States, widely known in the cannabis community as a pioneering dispensary owner and, most recently, author of The Cannabis Manifesto. He's someone you'd naturally assume would support like-minded Democrats like President Barack Obama.
So we were surprised when DeAngelo came out with some harsh criticisms of the president's approach to the cannabis issue. In an exclusive interview at Harbourside Health Center in Oakland, DeAngelo told Civilized Founder and Publisher Derek Riedle that Obama had broken promises to reform federal government policies on medical cannabis.
The president has been a 'crushing disappointment'
"Obama has really been a crushing disappointment," says DeAngelo. "I campaigned for Obama. I collected donations for Obama. I believed Obama when he said repeatedly that when he became president the Department of Justice would not be allowed to raid medical cannabis facilities. And then I watched him preside over a much larger crackdown on medical cannabis than we ever experienced under George W. Bush."
DeAngelo also praised "unlikely bedfellows" like Republican Rand Paul, a supporter of legalization. And he also speaks about his hopes for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has begun making positive comments about legalization in the weeks since Riedle first spoke with DeAngelo.
We'll post Riedle's full conversation with DeAngelo as a podcast Oct. 30. But with the Republican primary debate taking place tonight, we wanted to share DeAngelo's insights about how both parties are addressing the cannabis issue. This six-minute segment of incisive, hard-hitting commentary is well worth a listen: