George Soros has been working, and not just behind the scenes, on the global movement to end marijuana prohibition and criminalization. As with any good activist, Soros has a multitude of tactics he brings to this fight, as well as a number of reasons he has taken up the cause.
Soros gave money in the legalization efforts that won on the ballots in Colorado, Oregon, California, and other states. He has also donated money to elected officials in positions to make change on this issue happen. Since those victories, he has moved on to other states within the Union and increased his efforts to the international level.
Most recently, he was involved in legalization efforts in the country of Uruguay. This is a nation which has extreme poverty and a climate that could easily grow cannabis on a large scale. Uruguay has also suffered the side-effects of narco-terrorism in nearby nations like Columbia, Peru, and Brazil. The movement of an income source from criminals to poor farmers would be a victory on many levels in alignment with Mr. Soros’s many other philanthropic activities.
It is that complex personal story that appears to drive George Soros on this issue. He has talked many times about the multiple issues involved with ending the drug war on marijuana.
His social activist side recognizes how criminalized marijuana puts up more barriers to people than it brings down. The arrest rates in the United States show how it has been used as a form of racial and social oppression. Having lived in NAZI occupied Hungary as a Jewish teen, Soros has experience oppression, and he has a desire to see social equity. Read more on washingtontimes.com.
He is also a businessman who has made billions of dollars in smart investments. He sees the potential for an entirely new, legalized industry, with millions of employees from farmers, to processors, to store managers. Not only can that revitalize economies, but it can also drive up the revenues of cash strapped governments. When you pair that with a reduction in costs to house prisoners, you can see why a smart businessman would come down on the side of legalization.
With so many important causes that he has fought for in the past, you might think this is one Soros would ignore. But his insight and his compassion appear to have made him a leader in a global movement to end marijuana prohibition. Read this story at Politico about George Soros.