Billionaire George Soros behind major push for marijuana legalization
Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros is no stranger when it comes to throwing around money, but the former hedge fund manager is making headlines over some major donations he’s made to help legalize marijuana.
On the heels of the approval of two of the United States’ first recreational laws in Colorado and Washington, other locales across the country are considering implementing policy changes that could decriminalize pot, ease penalties for users or eliminate weed laws altogether. Advocacy groups are leading the campaign to crush marijuana prohibition from coast-to-coast, and 83-year-old Soros is helping line the pockets of those making that push.
On Wednesday this week, Kelly Riddell at The Washington Times pulled back the curtain to reveal details about some of the roles that Soros has played in the pro-weed debate, and helped explain how the billionaire’s many foundations are fighting the war against pot prohibition.
“Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings,” Riddell wrote.
The Soros-affiliated Foundation to Promote an Open Society donates roughly $4 million annually to the Drug Policy Alliance, Riddell added, a nonprofit group that describes itself as the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Soros is among the group of board members who help steer policy reform efforts undertaken by that organization, which has contributed to the successful attempts in both Colorado and Washington state to legalize recreational marijuana, as well as in Uruguay where last year the South American country became the first in the world to allow for the regulation, distribution and sale of weed to legal adults.
Records obtained by the Times also reveal that Soros cuts other substantial checks annually to the American Civil Liberties Union, “which in turn funds marijuana legalization efforts,” Riddell wrote, as well as the Marijuana Policy Project which funds state ballot measures. In 2013, the MPP ranked Soros as the ninth most influential marijuana user in the US, behind President Barack Obama, television host Oprah Winfrey and a handful of other politicians and celebrities.
The co-director and spokesperson for that group, Mason Tvert, told the Times that MPP and the Drug Policy Alliance are planning to support full legalization measures in the near future in the states of Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana and Nevada, and Soros himself has advocated on behalf of previous attempts to abolish pot prohibition in at least one of those locales.
Read the full story: http://rt.com/usa/soros-mpp-times-marijuana-189/