The Impact of Big Money in the Marijuana Legalization Movement

One indisputable fact is that big-money interests have now surfaced in a number of states, seeking to influence the type of legalization adopted in specific states, and to profit from the legal marijuana market. We should not be surprised that the economic appeal of legalizing marijuana would attract the attention of people with resources.

Understandably, some activists who have worked long and hard to help bring us to this point, are concerned about the entry of big money into the political equation. They fear the legalization movement has been hijacked by those seeking to profit from legal marijuana.

Of course, big money has been a major factor in the legalization movement as far back as 1996, when the California medical marijuana initiative was bailed-out with money provided by a handful of rich philanthropists, led by George Soros and the late Peter Lewis, who have been major funders supporting many of the statewide initiatives passed since, including both the Colorado and Washington state full legalization initiatives, and more recently the Oregon legalization initiative.

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12 thoughts

  1. Big brother needs to step up to the plate and make it a free market. Tax the hell out of if they must. Let the little guy have a chance. Ohio has a handful of rich assholes that want to lock everything up for themselves. Some big money stinks

  2. Does the influence of “Big Money”subject a large ,or, small percentage of the working class for new jobs,or only the privileged elite? Will the large database of strains that have been accumulated from landrace seeds, that have been mutated through trial and error- into the vast array of “modern hybrids”,be accessible to the public,or bought out and patented(if that is possible)… for copyright purposes?

  3. I guess this means marijuana reform is now mainstream.

    I like your suggestion to allow for personal cultivation to help prevent big money from commandeering reform for its own profiteering.

  4. Perhaps there are ways to reach out to the talented and persistent Kevin Sabet– or will he Savagebite your hand?

    1. If he is serious (as he has said) about the harm caused by Big Tobacco (mainly 700-mg $igarettes), he MUST support substituting cannabis (0 fatalities a year instead of 6,000,000).

    2. Pending Underfunded Research to establish that carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins are a major factor in “tobacco addiction”, the same will likely prove true for cannabis, therefore he must then support a campaign to GET RID OF THE 500-mg JOINT (alias “Big Marijuana”) and substitute Vaporization and DIY Flexdrawtube Onehitters with 25-mg single serving capacity.

    3. Once progressive scientific cannabis users have popularized Dosage Harm Reduction, and billions of single toke utensils have been made and marketed, the idea may spread over into the tobacco user sector, saving millions of lives, and Kevin can earn a share of NORML’s Knowitwell Prize for Preventive Medicine ($1.5 mil.).

  5. I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the big money donors who have helped to end cannabis prohibition. THANK YOU, PETER LEWIS RIP, THANK YOU, MR. SOROS, AND EVERYONE ELSE.

    I give what I can to NORML, MPP, DPA, but no way can I match the wealthy dollar amounts, toiling away at my thankless job with no room to move up in the hierarchy, even with abstaining for the pre-employment medical and paperwork mess. Most people would not lower themselves to do what I do, what I have to do to pay the bills, yet when they complain and degrade me even in front of my face I have to smile and make the best of it and move on. I have no platform. I have no clout. What I have to say and what I think carry no weight, so thank you NORML and everybody!

  6. I can see all the big money politicians and big pharma fat cats and law enforcement now with all that GREED for the MONEY swelled up inside of them. They are really FOAMING AT THE MOUTH for more money, more money, more money, AND ARE CONTINUING TO PULL THE RUG OVER ALL AMERICANS IN NEED OF MARIJUANA. They have been waiting until they get all their laws with loopholes in place so they can cover up all of the crimes they have been committing over the years with the help of law enforcement. We the people know that this GOVERNMENT SMOKE AND MIRRORS CAMPAIGN Has to Stop NOW. END PROHIBITION NOW!!!

  7. Having been an activist envolved with colo’S Ammendment 20 back in 2000,I think and encourage big $ into the legalizing effort..There is plenty of room for all to participate in our efforts to normalize cannibis use..We have taken 14 years to get this far in our effort and people are still in 47 states suffering legal punishments for the use of cannibis. I am too old to wait for the underfunded efforts to move the issue..Having a Budwieser pot will do more to move the legalizing effort than all the activists can do for decades in America..To keep people out of the criminal justice system for Potsmoking is the goal of our efforts..We can modify the $ effects on cannabis life after it’s normalization has been universal in all corners of the US..

  8. Big money, little money. Who cares? Anything to get the government to legalize it! I live in Alabama, and at the rate we’re going, I won’t see legal pot in my lifetime in this bloody red state with all these churches and conservative assholes.

  9. Not letting “Big Marijuana” happen is just as important to sustaining our personal freedom as legalization is. If it happens then corporate america has just taken control of one more thing. They already control enough.

  10. Big money can be a problem, but its influence can be curtailed if voters in the states are paying attention.
    It always boils down to the constituents being involved as to how much power that big money has in the end.

  11. Agree with @jf oschwald, encourage big $, meanwhile also we first act quickly to assure that the young public is IMMUNIZED against recruitment into the profit-driven $igarette format habit, namely: Everyone One-Hit Literate!

    (Please memorize and regurgitate Jinglemantra widely:)

    “Crater upright and ready to go,
    Hold flametip an inch below,
    Suck slow,
    don’t glow
    till after 19
    Seconds or so.”

    yes, even Budwieser (oops sorry Handweedser Bush)– provided that or any other corporate commandomonster can manufacture cut/sifted budflower for use in 25-mg capacity flexdrawtube-one-hitter screened craters, and maybe the utensils too.

    Seeing that other “Bud” mentioned, reminded me of how beer marketers overdosepush and how eerily it echoes the “tobacco = $igarette” equivalent: what about those 12-ounce– or 24 ounce– NONRESEALABLE beer cans?

    In Propaganda language, I think such a can expresses an expectation that this wonderful beer ten hours from now will be no damn good (or cold enough etc.) anymore, so hurry and drink it all up this hour, therefore a resealable cap don’t matter!

    Also, ever asked yourself why they don’t market a 2-ounce “airline sipping bottle” of beer or wine like with hard liquors? Maybe don’t want anyone to THINK 2 ounces would be enough per $erving (for a real man etc.)?

    (As for hard liquor, how about marketing a chewing-gum-enclosed ampule that you can break into with your tooth and sip, swish, chew a11 11 milliliters etc.)

    And see how similar overdose-urging packaging standards apply with $igarettes– 700 mg per lightup compared to a 25-mg one-hitter! A 2001 Pall Mall commercial claimed more puffs per $igarette than the 9.1 it attributed to rival Marlboro, all those puffs (twice hotter than a toke, too) designed to be consumed in a few minutes– whereas with a one-hitter you can break each $igarette down into 28 moderate safe satisfactory vapetokes spread out over a week or more.

    So, cannabis users, get house in order, boycott rolling papers, instruct and immunizes children, then bring on good old Bud and Morris.


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