Steve Fox on Marketplace - February 8, 2011
Pot Smoking on Capitol Hill
Washington's army of lobbyists is joined by a new special interest, the National Cannabis Industry Association.
TEXT OF STORY
Kai Ryssdal: If you want to get something done in Washington, you pretty much have to hire somebody there to make your case to hang around Capitol Hill and lobby. And there's a little something for everyone. There's a registered lobbyist for UFO believers. The American League of Lobbyists -- I love this one -- lobbies for lobbyists. And there's the National Cannabis Industry Association, which is more straight-laced than you might think.
Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Steve Fox is the picture of establishment Washington. His dark hair is cut short with a little gray at the temples. He's wearing a dark green suit, white shirt and tie. His shiny brown shoes carry him briskly through the lobby of a Senate office building. Fox is all business.
As the chief lobbyist for the National Cannabis Industry Association...
Steve Fox: There's a lot going on.
Fox takes me to one of his favorite haunts, a cafe tucked into a corner of the building. And Fox explains that this is a joint effort by growers and sellers to promote pot on Capitol Hill.
Fox:I simply believe it's wrong that the government uses its power to punish individuals who just want to relax and use cannabis.
Fox used to work for medical marijuana user groups. Their focus was on individual rights. Now, he's switched to representing the medical marijuana business.
Fox: Being in Washington, it's no secret that money talks. We are small businesses. We are creating jobs. We are generating tax revenues. And we need to have our voice heard.
Read the rest of the transcript, or listen to the interview.