Former U.S. congressman and disgraced public figure Anthony Weiner could be the latest politician ditching civics for cannabis. Weiner was released from federal prison earlier this month, following his 2017 sentence of 21 months in prison for sexting with a minor. Currently he is staying in Bronx halfway house, but was seen around New York meeting with a potential investor about a future marijuana business, reports the Daily Mail.
Weiner, who must publicly register as a sex offender due to his crimes, was heard telling the investor to downplay his “sexual stuff.” Instead, Weiner urged the investor that he’s the “perfect guy” for the project, and referred numerous times to his wide network of connections. A Daily Mail source said Weiner kept mentioning “talking to people in Colorado and California” and “Chinese manufacturing.”
“Weiner was advising the other man on how to approach investors and said, ‘Tell them you have this great venture and then be like, I know the perfect guy,’” the Daily Mail source said. “’Weiner appeared to be referring to himself and explaining how to get other money on board but conceal his involvement.”
Ex-convicts typically have a difficult time finding work in the cannabis industry, in no small part due to the federally illegal and Schedule I status of cannabis. This is why expungement efforts—like San Francisco dismissing over 9,000 marijuana convictions this week—and initiative programs that secure opportunities for ex-cons, particularly those convicted of marijuana-related crimes, is such a vital component of any serious cannabis reform.
This, of course, is a different story when considering the missed opportunities of a sex offender and disgraced politician like Anthony Weiner. Those on probation, like Weiner, usually can’t find work in the cannabis industry because it’s federally illegal and they’d therefore be breaking parole. However, a cannabis attorney told the Daily Mail the decision ultimately lies with Weiner’s probation officer and the prosecutor’s office.
Weiner might be helped by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newfound enthusiasm for cannabis reform and legalization. Cuomo has made numerous promises the plant will be legalized for adult use in 2019, though New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made similar booming promises while running in the gubernatorial race. New Jersey has failed to make significant headway, though NJ voters haven’t helped matters.