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Travel Guru And Marijuana Activist Rick Steves Heads To California


rick steves oregon marijuanaMany people know Rick Steves from his travel books, TV show or radio program. He is a self-made business man who has a serious following among folks interested in travel. Recently, Steves has become one of the more prominent marijuana law reform advocates in the country. I will always be grateful for his 10-city tour across Oregon has he urged Oregonians to vote yes on Measure 91 and legalize marijuana for all adults.

Steves ventured to Oregon on his own dime, as he didn’t expect any payment from the campaign. He earned great media for marijuana legalization as he spoke to packed venues around the state. Most importantly, Steves speaks to the moderate, mainstream voters needed to pass a marijuana legalization measure. I believe that it is safe to state that Measure 91 would never have garnered more than 56% of the vote in a mid-term election without the assistance of Rick Steves.

Rick will be taking his message onto California, one of the next states likely to legalize marijuana, as he will be one of the keynote presenters at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference on February 15th & 16th in San Francisco. David Downs of Smell the Truth just published his first installment of a series of pieces that will be featuring the renowned travel expert.

From Smell the Truth:

StT: A theme that emerged from the most recent Las Vegas canna-business conference was activists irritated capitalists weren’t ponying up for the reform from which they hope to profit. Thoughts?

Steves: I’ve stayed out of all of the money-making end of cannabis. I’m just in it for civil liberties and racial justice and public safety and commons sense — that kind of stuff.

I don’t want to be pro or con medical or retail sales, or any of that kind of stuff. I just want to make it legal, taxed and regulated.


StT: Are you a betting man? Can California legalize it in 2016?

Steves: Depends on who writes the law. If you have a pro-pot law, it’s not going to work, you know? You need a public safety law that respects the concerns of most people that don’t smoke pot. That’s just a pragmatic thing. I’m not saying that’s right — that’s just reality. I mean, my record is 2- 0. We legalized in Washington and we legalized in Oregon and we needed every bit of common sense pragmatism and respect for people that oppose us that we could. And we’re credible. We’re not scary.

You should certainly check out the entire article and stay tuned from more news about Rick Steves and his work to legalize marijuana. He can be a tremendous asset to any state looking to end the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. There are still early bird tickets available if you would like to see Rick Steves and the many accomplished speakers at the next International Cannabis Business Conference.


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Someday we can buy weed and tomatoes from the same farmer. Right now we’re coming out of the haze of lies that “greedy” people started decades ago. You are right on but… patience grasshopper.

  2. Agreed.

    He’s earned a lot of respect for taking the risks he did by speaking publicly like that. America needs more Patriots like him.

  3. Rick is a great guy. I’m proud he’s from Washington, and works so hard on cannabis reform without financial gratuity. I like it too that he doesn’t want to “get down into the weeds” of individual legalization policy, just the personal freedom aspect of it. With Rick, as with me, it’s just a matter of common sense. A very smart man.

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