- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2013

Richard Branson, the billionaire businessman who founded Virgin America airlines, said at a National Press Club panel event Wednesday evening that of all the politicos and players in Washington, D.C., the tea party could benefit the most from taking drugs.

The Hill said he actually made the statement in response to a reporter’s question: “Who in Washington in your opinion could benefit the most from a little drug use?”

“I think all members of the tea party,” Mr. Branson said, and when the audience laughed, added jokingly: “Heavy drug use.”

The panel discussion was tied to a documentary on worldwide drug addiction called “Breaking the Taboo,” narrated by actor Morgan Freeman. In it, former President Clinton admitted that his administration’s anti-drug policies were failures. His admission has been regarded as somewhat of a political dilemma for Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run for the White House in 2016.

Mr. Branson — who’s joined forces with former Vice President Al Gore on climate change and global-warming policy — is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy board.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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