Rapper Snoop Dogg has teamed up with GOP megadonor Charles Koch to form a coalition that will work to reform laws surrounding marijuana use and offenses in the U.S.
Snoop Dogg, Koch and criminal justice reform advocate Weldon Angelos have joined forces to launch The Cannabis Freedom Alliance.
Angelos was pardoned by former President Trump in January, after serving 13 years of a 55-year sentence for marijuana trafficking charges.
The movement plans to advocate for dismissing punishments for marijuana offenses and work to ensure individuals in the illegal marijuana market will be able to move to a regulated market.
Additionally, the coalition is calling for regulatory frameworks that encourage free markets and low tax rates.
The coalition includes a number of groups: Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group co-founded by Koch; the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank; the Global Alliance for Cannabis, a marijuana trade organization; and The Weldon Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the release of individuals imprisoned for marijuana offenses.
The alliance sees an opportunity for the advancement of marijuana legislation as Washington is currently dominated by Democratic majorities. The group hopes that Koch’s prominence among conservatives can help sway 10-12 Republicans to join Democrats across the aisle and pass marijuana legislation.
“We need 10 to 12 Republican senators,” Angelos said. “With Koch’s influence, I think that's likely a possibility.”
The idea for the coalition originated during a Zoom call between Snoop Dogg, Koch and Angelos last summer.
"Americans for Prosperity is excited to work alongside our partners to bring cannabis businesses into the light, replacing black and gray markets with a free and fair legal framework," Brent W. Gardner, chief government affairs officer for Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement.
"Cannabis commerce will become a way for Americans to lift themselves up, rather than a barrier holding them back," Gardner added.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), during an interview on Saturday, vowed to move forward with legislation to federally legalize marijuana, even if President Biden resists such a move.
"He [Biden] said he's studying the issue, so [I] obviously want to give him a little time to study it,” the Senate Democratic leader stated. “I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will.”
“But at some point, we're going to move forward, period,” he added.