Richard Branson recently visited New Zealand, and while he was there, he had some intriguing advice for farmers and ranchers. He said they should stop raising cattle and start growing weed instead.
Richard Branson visited New Zealand to speak at a fundraising event. His speech touched on a number of issues, but he spent a lot of time talking about weed.
One of the most interesting he said had to do with replacing cattle with cannabis. According to Branson, there are several reasons why this would be a good move.
One of the most important was economic. Since the legal cannabis market is still in its infancy, there’s a ton of space for new players. And as far as Branson is concerned, cattle ranchers could be especially good candidates to move in and make some money by growing weed.
Branson said that the move from raising cows to growing weed would let ranchers get in on the ground floor of an industry that’s expected to absolutely blow up. And that, he argued, could generate big bucks for anyone willing to start growing.
But Branson’s reason for urging the change wasn’t just about the money. He also cited some significant environmental reasons for switching to weed.
“I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers,” Branson said. “If you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable.”
In recent years there has been growing concern over the ecological harm caused by raising animals for meat production. Researchers have found that raising animals contributes to land degradation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, Branson’s comments may be a bit on the optimistic side. There’s also concern that cannabis cultivation could also lead to ecological damage.
Richard Branson’s Ongoing Love Of Cannabis
Branson’s comments are the newest in a long history of speaking out in favor of cannabis and cannabis legalization. In fact, Branson has built a reputation for being one of the globe’s most prominent weed activists.
His focus on weed legalization is part of a larger, more broader concern with the war on drugs. He’s gone on record multiple times talking about how harmful the global war on drugs has been.
Branson is part of an international activist group called the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Last year, they published a statement calling on the UN to push for the global decriminalization of weed.
The statement said that doing so would solve a number of social, political, and legal problems. For example, huge numbers of people have been arrested for non-violent crimes because of anti-weed laws.
Branson returned to many of these themes during his recent comments in New Zealand.
“We’ve done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it’s been an abject failure,” he said. “What is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalized and people who have drug problems should be helped.”
The Final Hit
Whether or not Branson’s claims are totally realistic, he still raised some interesting points. And if nothing else, he probably had a good audience.
From the sounds of things, Kiwis love their weed. Although cannabis is currently illegal in New Zealand, weed is the third most commonly used recreational drug in the country.
And the UN said that New Zealand has the ninth highest level of weed usage in the world. Sounds like a pretty good audience for Branson’s weed-themed speech.