In a story of true life, more suited to a Hollywood biopic, a man whose father was once a top-smuggler for Pablo Escobar, was a lawyer and lobbyist working to turn the political institution in Washington, D.C. in support of marijuana legalization.
South Florida lawyer Brady Cobb is the son of Clyde Walton "Bill" Cobb, who back in the 1970s and early 80s ran a huge potty smuggling operation in Florida panhandle using everything from shrimp boats, planes and old ban era moonshine routes to move more than one million pounds of escobars pot. Brady Cobb estimates that before his father was finally busted, in 1983 he had deducted more than $ 300 million from Escobar's drug money.
"DEA couldn't first figure out why a lot of rednecks in Cottondale, Florida, had 24-carat gold Rolex watches and drove Mercedes S500's, Cobb Fox News told a recent interview." They had to open a field office in Pensacola because of father – they all got sick of driving up from Miami. "
Cobb said his father accidentally happened in drug business in 1976 after scoring the exclusive Fort Lauderdale for Key West distribution for an iconic tanned lotion brand.
"Dad was a redneck, and of course he had to have three acres and a barn, even though he lived in Key West. The Colombians moved a cargo down the road – 50,000 pounds weed on a tractor trailer – it broke down and they saw he had a drawer, Cobb says. "They said they would give him $ 70,000 if they could throw it in there. It was clear that in 1976 it was a huge sum of money. And so he began in cannabis. That cannabis came straight from Pablo Escobar's Medellin. "
By expanding its role in drug trafficking, the older Cobb also grew its healthy lotion business by importing popular European brands – personified by dozens of bikini-clad models with Farrah Fawcett hairstyles. Along with it came the glamorous lifestyle – routine excursions to New York City's famous Studio 54 nightclub, running a running team at the Daytona 500, and even buying Eric Clapton's famous pad in Golden Beach at the end of the 1970s – 461 Ocean Boulevard , the name of Clapton's second study album.
"Most front companies are car dealers and trying to stay on the quiet side. Meanwhile, father and mother are yachts high and proud," Cobb said, noting that his father was interviewed by "60 minutes" at the beginning of The 80s, after agitating the controversy by advertising with billboards with topless women and the slogan "doing the French way" along Florida's Interstate 95.
It all ended when Bill Cobb was charged in 1983, sentenced the following year and sentenced to 20 years. But with the legal representation of Johnny Cochrane, Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey – members of what would later become most of the OJ Simpson defense team – plus the famous Florida lawyer Fred Levin – he ended up only 27 months and got out early appeal.
Cobb said his father continued to make an agreement to build and distribute a successful natural spring water company before prostate cancer ended his life in 2010. And it was partly to see that his father struggled with his illness when Cobb said that he realized the potential of medical marijuana.
"When he was first diagnosed … I saw how cannabis was the only one that really helped him. He was given all the opioids in the world, but he didn't want to take them," Cobb recalled. "Cannabis was the only one that gave him any relief."
Cobb left his job at a company specializing in government relations in Florida to dive primarily into the then-new medical marijuana market in 2012.
"I had the opportunity to work and work in California, then Colorado, to get into the room. But I wanted to do it in Florida," Cobb, who soon launched the international cannabis company SOL Global Investments, with the Canadian launches Andy DeFrancesco.
"Everyone thought we were nuts," Cobb said.
When 2016 came around, Cobb said he focused his sights on the lobby on both sides of the D.C. political aisle who died the so popular model of relying on liberal former Obama administration staff to promote the case.
"I expected the Democrats to vote for legalization regardless. We needed Republicans, and it was not supposed to be needed for Obama remnants," Cobb said. "So I started to become a member-to-member, starting with friendships, and then getting friendships to talk to the non-girlfriends. We would start with the low-key employees getting coffee, then moving to meeting with the actual members. It was literally a process of carrying holes in our shoes and went to the office of the office for two years. "
The "education process" that Cobb puts it into has included taking the most important congressmen on tours of scattered potted plants in Canada.
"We said" Put on your hair. Turn on your boots, sterilize your hands, and we'll show you what it looks like. "We had to show that we were not ponytail wearing hippies with trim parties. We had to show that this is an operating and quality control business."
Meanwhile, social perceptions of marijuana use with the public began to change. Currently, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical or recreational use of cannabis. And a October Gallup poll found nearly two-thirds of Americans – 64 percent – now supporting legalization.
And Cobb has been "an important part of the conversation" in Washington, as the momentum that supports potato law has changed in recent years, according to a former White House employee.
"Brady is a sensible guy who can talk to people in a way they understand. He has become a kind of off-record source who really wants to know how this process works from the trenches and medical applications from treating epileptic seizures. to PTSD, "said the former employee. "Using outside medical is more difficult, but Brady is the key to explaining everything in a sensible way."
And while Cobb and other lobbies are federal lawmakers, there has been state-level movement in the last year. Three Red States – Missouri, Utah and Oklahoma – All authorized medical cannabis voting measures in 2018. And in the November election, Michigan became the first Midwestern state to allow recreational potty use.
"There's no way to the White House that doesn't involve carrying those states," Cobb said. "Suddenly, after there was interest in moving something because of these key figures."
Cobb said the effort to win over central gop players focuses on the idea of state rights to make their own marijuana use decisions. "I knew we wouldn't convince some very conservative members about cannabis. But we could convince them of state rights," he said. "As for the Democrats, it has been tempering their expectations."
President Trump has said he is back States' rights to legalize the pot and lent its endorsement to a bill to abolish federal marijuana ban – making him the very first seated president to do so.
Cobb has been recognized for his efforts to get support for the Law of Safe and Fair Enforcement, which allows pot companies to freely bank as any other legitimate business. "The Law of Safe and Fair Enforcement is a strong first step in providing legitimate cannabis-related and state-licensed farmers, businesses and consumers with access to an efficient and secure banking system and traditional loans and capital markets. I appreciate Brady's told about this important legislation" said a statement by Nikki Fried, Florida Agriculture Commissioner.
And despite the fact that a number of Congress Republicans face many marijuana changes from making it the house's word to vote, Forbes"Several bills to end or change federal marijuana bans were filed at the 115th Congress than ever before and they received a record number of co-sponsors."
Cobb sees marijuana law becoming more of a bi-partisan question in the future, and insists many years Republican party model, supporting legalization was political suicide and opposed traditional values, and the war on drugs was slowly evaporating. Although there remains concern about the potential long-term side effects of chronic potty users, such as behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, paranoia or uncontrollable vomiting disorder.
Cobb noted that even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), who has long maintained he will not support power legalization, again made the legalization of hemp in what became known as Farm Bill. Cobb said McConnell is still the toughest need to crack in D.C., mostly over his concerns about marijuana-weakened driving, and how it can be tested in such a reliable way that breathalyzers can currently measure blood alcohol levels.
"We worked on it from the science side to see if something like a mobile pinprick might work," he said. "We need to come up with some kind of quick test to see if you're above a certain threshold."
But like a father, like son, Cobb said he took an important lesson from his father's Escobar trafficking.
"If I learned something, it should be first – to be out front," Cobb said. "The difference between us is I went to law school, a law firm, working to change federal law. He just said to hell with it. I think if he knew where things were today, he would lose weight . "