Former Democratic Alaskan Senator and 2008 Presidential candidate Mike Gravel has recently been appointed CEO of KUSH, a company that will form partnerships with producers to make, market and sell marijuana-infused goods throughout U.S. states that have legalized the medical and recreational use of cannabis.
The Nevada-based company was acquired by Cannabis Sativa (CS) Inc. last summer in what the companies called the “Merger.” This merger allows KUSH to operate as an independent subsidiary under the guidance of Gravel. He previously held a position on the CS Inc. board of Directors since its creation nine years ago where former New Mexico senator Gary Johnson presides as CEO.
Serving as senator in Alaska from 1969 to 1981, Gravel has been lauded for his marijuana advocacy as well as his steadfast criticism of the War on Drugs.
“I feel very deeply about the failure that is marijuana prohibition,” Gravel said. “Nixon is the one that put marijuana into a Schedule I. People forget he has that story, I lived through that. I thought it was horrible.”
President Nixon is famously remembered as the first president to issue a war on drugs, which has gone on for over 40 years. Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 which classified marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. This classification deemed pot as dangerous as cocaine and heroin.
With weed still illegal per the federal government, Cannabis Sativa Inc. hopes to enter into the nearly two dozen state markets that offer recreational and medical marijuana. Gravel said that the partnerships that he forms will enable the company to manufacture and sell products such as “Kubby,” named after KUSH founder and present CS Inc. chairman Steve Kubby. In a release, Kubby praised Gravel.
“Senator Gravel stood up to Nixon, stood up to the Pentagon, and now he is standing up to those in power who would keep the healthful benefits of cannabis from those who need them,” he said, calling Gravel a “true American hero.”
The former senator can also be credited for other big strides in politics. In November, Gravel urged Colorado senator Mark Udall to make public the report detailing the CIA’s post 9/11 torture techniques. This move was nearly similar to the filibuster that Gravel played catalyst, when he read the Pentagon Papers during a subcommittee meeting. This reading forced into the congressional record thousands of pages of the Pentagon Papers report. This reading guaranteed that the report would be public before the Supreme Court would be given a chance to deem them publishable into mainstream press.
Now, Gravel has set his sights on changing the political landscape of cannabis. He spoke on his desire to see drugs decriminalized and users to be treated as if they have a health problem.
“Where we have cannabis legal today is where the people have spoken… The people know better than their leaders,” he said. “You should go see a doctor on the subject, not a sheriff, a police officer or a warden.”
How do you feel about politicians operating cannabis companies? Do you think that their governmental connections will enable pot to be legalized in more states?