Well it looks like this year might finally be the year that cannabis is legalized in California recreationally. It’s been an incredibly long time coming for the state that was the first to allow medical marijuana two whole decades ago. Back in 1996 California made the pioneering first step that most other states thought to be impossible. Now we’ve got dozens of states with medical marijuana and California is looking to join the four that currently sell recreational cannabis as well. This is certainly not the first time that California has seen efforts to legalize in the past, but this time around seems to be different. It appears that one big difference is that the legalization campaign has caught the interest of some big time money donors that have finally recognized the potential that this industry has. We’ve still got a few months before November, but the size of some of the donations already received are staggering. Not only are they impressive amounts, but there are some pretty huge players that are shelling out the money in support of legalizing.
The initiative to legalize cannabis in California is already up to $5.5 million dollars that they have at their disposal. The specific proposition is Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. They were already boasting some impressive numbers in donations, but this last week was incredibly fruitful. In just one week they raised another $2 million dollars between two very high roller donors. Sean Parker contributed the majority of the money with his $1.25 million dollar donation. Sean Parker is the guy that co-founded Napster and was the old president of Facebook. (He’s the dude that Justin Timberlake plays in The Social Network.) This brings Sean’s total donations to a whopping $2.25 million. I’m not certain where Sean Parker is investing the rest of his money, but I’m willing to bet it has something to do with the cannabis industry in California that will explode if Proposition 64 passes. Ironically his old buddy Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t been nearly as friendly when it comes to the cannabis industry.
The money isn’t expected to stop coming in anytime soon for this campaign either. Weedmaps and The New Approach PAC have both contributed sizable chunks of that total $5.5 million as well. The state director of the Drug Policy Alliance says she expects they will raise over $8 million by November. These figures are completely shadowing some of the campaign funds for those that oppose legalization such as the $131,000 coming from the Public Safety Institute. If Prop 64 passes, adults over 21 will be able to possess up to 1 oz of weed and six plants. For years now California has avoided legalization by narrow margins, but polls are indicating that Proposition 64 will pass by 60 percent. Only time will tell, but in my experience with politics the money talks and it looks like cannabis has the money on its side of the ring for this fight.