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“This is the biggest con that has been perpetrated on this country in the last century.” says George Zimmer, the founder of Men’s Wearhouse. Zimmer was the keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo on Friday where he delivered a speech in favor of marijuana legalization.
His love of cannabis is well documented. He told CNBC that he has been smoking regularly for 50 years, joking, “As you can see, it’s really impacted me in a negative way.” The man has done pretty well for himself considering he’s worth $150 million.
Zimmer donated $50,000 to Proposition 19 in 2010, which would have legalized marijuana in California had it been approved. He has even considered investing in a marijuana-related startups, but decided against it when he realized that the IRS does not allow regular business deductions for dispensaries.
In his speech he said it’s “astounding” that everyone else knows “the truth” about marijuana, except for the elected officials who make decisions about it. He said it’s treated like heroin, referring to pot’s Schedule I classification, which considers it to be one of the most dangerous drugs. He added, “This is the biggest con that has been perpetrated on this country in the last century.”
Legalizing marijuana has proved to be a success in Colorado, where it has already brought in $73.5 million this year, putting it on pace to double its 2014 numbers.