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Although cannabis legislation is now being proposed across the country at a steady clip, it can be easy to forget that the first calls for legalization from elected officials came nearly half a century ago, from Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts. Frank proposed the country’s first legalization bill in 1972, and is among the true godfathers of cannabis reform. Frank left office in 2013; earlier this year, he entered the cannabis industry himself, through a partnership with a Massachusetts wholesale company called Greentown Beantown. Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Frank in New York City to learn more about his long history with cannabis reform, the parallels he sees between marriage equality and cannabis, the current state of national political affairs and much more.

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