Sir Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, says you may as well smoke weed with your kids because they’re going to do it anyway.
The business magnate said this at the Sage Summit, a networking event for entrepreneurs, at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, according to The Chicago Tribune. The not-so-conventional response came from a question and answer session from the audience, where the Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly, asked Branson how he taught his children values.
“If they’re going to have a joint, do it with them,” Branson told the audience. “Don’t let them sneak off and do it on their own.”
Branson, who is a commissioner on the global drug commission, added that he believes drugs are a “a health problem and not a criminal problem.”
He has not been secretive about his use of marijuana. He told Metro in 2007 that he learned to roll a joint from legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, and even smoked with his son. He also told The Huffington Post in 2014 that he would invest in the marijuana industry and favors legalization.
The eccentric billionaire compiled a group of essays into a book titled “Ending the War on Drugs,” released in 2015, which is meant to show “how massive the impact of the drug wars has been on societies and economies everywhere – and what better and more effective alternatives could look like.”
The Chicago Tribune notes that in 2007, Branson told GQ Magazine, “I’d rather my son did it in front of me than behind closed doors.”
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