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George Soros Gives $1 Million to Support Proposition 19

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Billionaire George Soros has thrown his weight behind California’s marijuana legalization measure with a $1 million donation a week before the vote.

The contribution reported Tuesday by The Sacramento Bee is the single biggest donation from an individual other than Proposition 19’s main sponsor, Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee.

Mr. Soros, who has long campaigned for drug policy reform, said laws against cannabis were “clearly doing more harm than good” and had not stopped it becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the US and other countries.

Perhaps the most famous ever hedge fund manager, Soros said: “Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually.”

Mr Soros said California had a chance to provide “national leadership” just as the repeal of alcohol prohibition in the US began with individual states.

He said that even if the measure did not pass, the fact that the vote was being held at all “elevated and legitimized public discourse” about the issue.

The beneficiaries of current US laws against the drug were criminal organizations in Mexico, he said, who would lose their competitive advantage if it was made legal.

“Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education,” Mr Soros said. “I’d much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration.”

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  • johhny1

    millions of people agree !

    If I had a dollar for half I would be happy.

    Me thinks if prop 19 passes other states will jump aboard , like MMJ

    prop 19 has a lot of silly rules , especially the 18 – 21 crowd

    A step towards individual freedom with the sacrifice of a few is still worth a yes vote.

    YEP on 19

  • Money helps, but truth, honesty and compassion will be needed to pass comprehensive legislation in any state. Poorly written bills should never become law.

    His donation makes by $4.20 x 10,000 marijuana reformists and activists look small, but $42,000 goes a long way in a state assembly race.

    http://www.jayselthofner.com/wordpress/2010/06/pro-marijuana-candidate-for-wisconsin-state-assembly-has-high-fundraising-goal/

  • johhny1

    Poorly written bills are a way the law is stretched .

    The poorly written laws for cannabis are unconstitutional just like SB 420 wich the senate tries to limit a patient amount – deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court.

    Labeling Cannabis as a “dangerous narcotic” and criminalizing half the population is either the smartest money making machine or the fuel for an endless war

    If Prop 215 was not written the way it was Ca would not enjoy the access they do today,clean stores, security sometimes a tested product with wide varieties of unusual hybrids .

    I have seen so much bullshit with LEOS IN CA. and even High Times magazine in NY.
    I saw the ad for Prop 215 , It was impressive.
    I cant believe the “marijuana party ” is split over politico bullshit
    I myself on the fence with Prop 19 in CA
    but for the vote im still votin YES on 19 and NO ON COOLEY!

  • Peter D

    Has anyone ever proposed (through initiative or otherwise) that every registered voter have the right to grow six marijuana plants at his/her registration address, and the right to use the fruits thereof at the registration address without paying fees or taxes, with the understanding that such a measure does not grant the right to transport or sell marijuana, or to use marijuana at any other location?