In the course of a bit over a week after almost two years, the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election led by Robert Mueller has found two cannabis connections.
The occasion happened in reverse order in the two cases.
On the flip side, George Papadopoulos has already faced the wrath of the special counsel. Last year, Papadopoulos, an ex-Donald Trump campaign aide, was sentenced in federal court to 14 days in prison for lying during a January 2017 interview with the FBI in regards to the Trump campaign’s relationship with agents of the Russian government. He served 12 days. Papadopoulos announced in a tweet last week that he had joined the board of advisers for medical marijuana startup C3 International, the maker of Idrasil, a marijuana pill.
“Very excited to join the Board of Advisors of C3 International, inc,” Papadopoulos announced to his over 80,000 followers on Twitter. “@idrasilpill is a revolutionary product that will assist in weaning Americans off the deleterious opioid epidemic that is affecting thousands, and killing hundreds, of Americans every single day. New thinking.”
We asked NORML if they felt like Papadopoulos had helped move the chains enough on cannabis during his time in the executive branch. “Isn’t he in jail?” Executive Director Erik Altieri said.
Chairman Steele Clarke Smith III, C3’s CEO, is no stranger to controversy. Six years ago, he claimed the rights to the name “Americans for Safe Access” after he registered it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in October of 2012. This action came 10 years after ASA was founded in 2002 by medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer. The advocacy organization currently boasts 100,000 members in all 50 states.
Back in 2013, the San Diego Reader reported on when Smith took ASA to court alleging they were using his trademark on the internet, email communications and various other promotional materials without his permission.
It got weird though. The Reader posted an email Smith previously sent to California ASA head Don Duncan, who you might remember as Doug Benson’s L.A. tour guide in Super High Me.
“Respectfully, you have until Friday, September 14 to decide whether or not to bind a mutually beneficial consulting agreement,” Smith III wrote to Duncan in an email originally posted to The Weedly News. “Otherwise, I must tilt the proverbial dominoes and will have no desire to stop. I already have the documents I need to remove conflicting and confusing ASA images, wherever they appear. That means safeaccessnow.org and all chapters with all hosts, statewide.”
So it appears Smith attempted to leverage the decade of branding done by the nation’s largest organization of medical marijuana patients over the decade prior to coerce Duncan into signing into some type of deal with Smith.
Another historical note about Smith was the fact he got sentenced to five years of probation for manufacturing cannabis where he could not engage, as whole or partial owner, employee or otherwise, in any business involving or related to marijuana collectives or dispensaries, without the express written approval of his probation officer prior to engagement in such business or employment. Some might wonder what it took to get permission from his probation officer to continue pushing the company through those years.
TELL US, do you think Papadopoulos is a good addition to the cannabis business community?