Soros Bankrolls Pot Legalization
By Art Moore, News Editor
LEFTWINO billionaire activist George Soros has been a prime proponent and funder of marijuana legalization in America.
He has been behind most of the successful medical marijuana initiatives in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington since 1996.
And last year, his money was a major factor in the passage of the first laws in the nation allowing recreational use, in Colorado and Washington state. In Washington, backers of the marijuana law outspent their opponents 400 to 1, thanks mostly to Soros and Progressive Insurance Chairman Peter Lewis. Soros’ Drug Policy Alliance and Lewis’ Marijuana Policy Project gave a combined $3.54 million of the $6.2 million raised by New Approach Washington, which led the effort to pass Washington states Initiative 502.
Opponents, meanwhile, raised only $15,995. Soros’ Drug Policy Alliance also gave $1.4 million to the legalization campaign in Colorado.
Meanwhile, New Approach Oregon, a group that hopes to legalize marijuana in Oregon next year, already has reported a $50,000 contribution from Soros’ Drug Policy Alliance, Willamette Week in Oregon reported. The funding is significant, said the paper, nothing that a legalization measure in the state failed in 2012, in part due to lack of funding. “Soros’ deep pockets mean that funding should not be a concern now,” Willamette Week said.
New Approach Oregon is trying to persuade state lawmakers to pass a legislative measure, but also is prepared to launch a ballot-initiative campaign. When Soros donated $1 million to support legalization of recreational marijuana use in California in 2010, he wrote a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal to explain his position on the issue.
“Laws banning marijuana, said Soros, are clearly doing more harm than good.” (HUH!) “The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries ” he argued. “But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.”
Endorsing California s Proposition 19 – which was defeated later that year by voters, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent – Soros said law enforcement agencies spend billions of taxpayer dollars annually “trying to enforce an unenforceable prohibition
He pointed out that the roughly 750,000 arrests made each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40 percent of all drug arrests. And he urged individual states to repeal laws against marijuana use, just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states.
Soros acknowledged in a Reuters interview in 1997 that he had tried marijuana and enjoyed it. But, he said, “it did not become a habit and I have not tasted it in many years.”
Ethan Nadelmann of the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance said at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver last October that the world has hit a “tipping point on marijuana” because of what Colorado and Washington did and what Uruguay is going to do,” wrote Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid. Nadelmann was referring to Uruguay’s decision to legalize marijuana cultivation and distribution. The president of Uruguay, Kincaid pointed out, is a former Marxist-Leninist guerrilla.