White House "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones, who resigned on Sunday, spoke at the NORML Conference in 2002. "He talked about racism, the War on Drugs and 'elite' drug policy groups failing to recruit minorities to the cause," recalls executive director Allen St. Pierre. "He's a brilliant guy."
Jones signed a petition in 2004 calling for an investigation into the government's involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. He recently launched a campaign against Glenn Beck, who called Pres. Obama a racist. SEE ClIP BELOW In February, he answered a question at a public forum by saying that Republican are "assholes."
St. Pierre calls Jones' resignation a "bummer - my guess is that he got booted because of the stated reasons in the press and, that the organization he used to head is the one that has cajoled 30 to 50 sponsors of Glenn Beck's show to cancel. The right wing likely brought the heat up on Van's presence at the White House."
Before being hired by the White House, Jones headed the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in San Francisco.
"I had met him personally in 2000, was impressed, and extended him an invite" to speak at the 2002 conference in San Francisco, says NORML's deputy director Paul Armentano. "He spoke on a youth activism panel, which wasn't the greatest fit, but I wanted him on the program."

Jones issued the following statement about his resignation: "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."