People who have been fighting for marijuana legalization have always fought an uphill battle. Anyone who has studied politics knows it’s easier to maintain the status quo than it is to bring big change, and the marijuana legalization effort is no exception. Another thing political science majors know is that money is by far the biggest asset in politics, and again, the marijuana legalization effort is no exception. People who have been fighting for marijuana legalization have always been outnumbered financially compared to their opponents. Big pharm, insurance companies, the alcohol industry, etc. have all financially contributed to marijuana prohibition, which is a tough coalition to match dollar for dollar.
The need for large financial contributors to the marijuana legalization effort is never ending. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of them out there. However, there are a handful, and every single penny they have contributed has helped raise awareness even if it hasn’t resulted in a direct victory for marijuana legalization…yet. One of my biggest marijuana heroes is the legendary Peter B. Lewis. Peter B. Lewis has been supporting marijuana legalization efforts financially for a long time. I think the following quote sums it up perfectly, “”No person on the face of this Earth has donated more money to reform marijuana laws than Peter B. Lewis,” said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Allen St. Pierre estimates that Peter B. Lewis has contributed between $40 million and $60 million to the cause since the 1980s.
Between 1991 and 2003, Lewis gave $5 million specifically to the ACLU’s drug-policy litigation project, which challenges current laws dealing with drug testing in schools and the medicinal use of marijuana. He also supported California’s Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act. He’s been the backbone of the Marijuana Policy Project’s funding. Chances are if there has been a political campaign for marijuana or medical marijuana legalization that has gained any traction, there are some Peter B. Lewis donations behind it. With so many people consuming marijuana in America, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that there are quite a few people in the ‘1 percent’ that are blazing it up. I would like to propose to them that they should be more like Peter B. Lewis, and put their money where they inhale their bong smoke. I’m not saying they need to crusade hard for marijuana all day everyday, believe me, there are tons of ‘financially challenged’ people that are willing to do that if they had more funding (theweedblog included!). I’m merely asking them to pony up some cash and support an initiative, or a pro-marijuana candidate, or a pro-marijuana website, or club, or organization. Until they do, kudos Mr. Lewis, you are a hero to anyone that is on the front lines of the marijuana reform movement, and we can never thank you enough!