The Marijuana Lobby’s Deep Pockets

The Marijuana Lobby’s Deep Pockets

At one time the marijuana lobby may have belonged to the political Left.  In today’s world the marijuana lobby brings together the Koch Brothers with the supporters of George Soros and other liberal groups.

Industry groups are pulling the wool over our head for the sake of winning, and for greed and profit.  Most people don’t even notice.  Because 90% of the money that paid for the Colorado legalization initiative was not local money, other states need to be aware of this possibility, too.

The Koch Brothers poured their money into Reason and the Cato Institute, Libertarian organizations that are outspoken in their support for legalizing all drugs. Furthermore, Charles Koch supports summer interns who work on policy organizations such as the Drug Policy Action Committee.

Support of marijuana legalization is central to George Soros and his policy ambitions, since he’s given nearly $100 million to pot legalization causes, including $1 million to the failed effort of Proposition 19 in California.   Soros’ Open Society funded the publication of a book, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, a book which purposefully states falsehoods about the number of people incarcerated for marijuana possession alone, which is less than 1% in the US.

potinprisonoffenses

thecaseagainstmarijuana, taken from The Daily Beast

The Press largely stands by the lobbyists, taking up the stories planted by them, such as a recent Washington Post article on pot tourism in Colorado and a story about a new lobbyist for the pot industry in our nation’s capital.  Here’s a page which has tracked the Press’ biased reporting well.

Washington DC recently decriminalized marijuana with a $25 fine, with only one city council member, Yvette Alexander, taking a stand against the powerful marijuana lobby.  Alexander sits on the Board of Take Charge Program, a juvenile diversion and gang prevention program.  The three major candidates in the April 1st mayoral campaign competed with each other to get the support of marijuana lobbyists, whose money feeds many political campaigns.

Recent Losses Prove Legalization Is Not Inevitable

Despite the deep pockets of the marijuana groups and PACs, such as NORML and Drug Policy Action Committee, recent legalization efforts backfired in New Hampshire, Hawaii and Maine.  There is a push among Maryland legislators to legalize it, too, though the current governor will veto it.  Nonetheless, Kevin Sabet of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said that “legalization is by no means inevitable.”  He continued, “We will educate and we will stop it.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is strongly against the legalization of marijuana, and prefers treating it like a health issue, similar to Project SAM.  She will have few in her camp, because too many politicians fear standing up to the greed and hype put on by an industry which intends to profit from abuse and get young users.

Follow the Money

Colorado demonstrates how out-of-state money can buy an issue for the benefit of a few people. The major donors were                                                                             Out-of-State                   In-state                     

  The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana        $1,161,356                     $145,314

Citizens for Responsible Legalization             $875,650                     $13,980                                                 The Coalition to End Marijuana Prohibition         $260,889                      $30,676

Drug Policy Action Colorado  Committee          $90,000                         -0-

(Above statistics from Google docs, 11/13/2012) That same year, A Democratic primary race for the Oregon Attorney General revealed how the lobby works. Two thirds of the campaign contributions to the winner, Ellen Rosenblum, were from that lobby, including Drug Policy Action, John Sperling, an Arizona resident who is the founder of the University of Phoenix, and Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement, which paid for $53,000 in ads against her opponent.  (The opponent had called medical marijuana in the state a train wreck, but Rosenblum had promised to make prosecution of medical marijuana violations a low priority.) However, at the time, Oregon’s Department of Justice was part of a multi-state investigation into for-profit universities, which includes Sperling’s University of Phoenix.

Another large pro-marijuana donor, Peter Lewis, funded the successful ballot for medical marijuana in Massachusetts in 2012.  He was not a resident of the state. A personal injury lawyer in Tampa, John Morgan, has poured his millions into the current attempt to put a medical-marijuana initiative on the ballot this November.

As the marijuana industry claims, many small donors fund their cults. But they couldn’t pull it off without the billionaires’ donations.

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2 comments

  1. Sickening! The leftists across the land still are the driving force, make no mistake about it. Read who the politicians behind legalization and you’ll find mostly democrats every step of the way. In just today’s news, congress passed an innitiative to allow banks to move pot money- democrats mostly.

    Yet your analysis clearly indicates the big money driving pot legalization is not exclusively from the left. There are plenty of gullible, idiot Republicans too (who think it’s libertarian issue*), and spineless cowards caving in to hoaxes like medical marijuana.

    * Why it’s not a libertarian issue (please note Rand Paul, et company): We can not have potheads assassinating (or attempting) politicians (Loughner, Moore, Fromme, Hinkley, assassinating celebrities (Chapman) or blowing up buildings (Dorne, McVieigh), marathons (Tsarnaevs) or airplanes. (Richard Reid the shoebomber). This is where the libertarian argument for marijuana legalization stops dead cold in the water.

    Such actions mar and distort our national character, disrupt the peace, and threaten the spirit of America’s character, vision and identity.

  2. I have been researching the money trail in terms of who George Soros is funding to influence legalization. I am a progressive but believe marijuana and drug legalization would be detrimental to progressive causes and our society in general as it exacerbates every social problem. I heard George Soros speak at a progressive conference in 2004 introduced by Hillary Clinton. He rambled on about cold war issues and how he brought democracy to Eastern Europe and then he spent 1/2 hour talking about how we have to legalize all drugs. I was appalled. I have subsequently learned that he donated a huge amount of money to Human Rights Watch and works with the ACLU, Nation Magazine, Center for American Progress, etc. There is now a liberal media echo chamber for marijuana legalization but democrats such as Patrick Kennedy, Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein and others are opposed. Hillary Clinton is testing the waters. So Soros’ influence goes much further than just donating outside money to legalization efforts. I had to laugh when The Nation and MSNBC recently reported that “anti marijuana legalization groups” CADCA and Partnership for a drug free America (Iwould call them drug prevention groups) are being funded partly by a drug company and implied they were ignoring prescription pill abuse (which they do not) because big pharma is afraid of marijuana legalization. Where is the evidence? Chris Hayes then brought on Dr. Carl Hart without stating that he is on the board of the Soros funded Drug Policy Alliance funded by Soros. Funny,the left never mentions Soros funding when it complains about billionaires skewing democracy. We need a non partisan group like SAM, only much stronger, to expose the pot lobby disinformation and conflict of interest.

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