Why Does Soros Really Support Legalized Pot?
But now he can add another feather to his cap: that of legalized pot promoter.
"Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good," Soros begins in a widely circulated op-ed in The Wall Street Journal published today. (A slight irony, considering the Journal is owned by Fox News parent company News Corp.)
After running down the standard list of negative outcomes caused by marijuana prohibition -- billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on nonviolent offenders, racial profiling, more money to violent drug cartels, comparatively easier access than alcohol to minors, etc. -- he eventually concludes, "These are the reasons I have decided to support [California's] Proposition 19 and invite others to do so."
Whether Soros' appeal will have any affect on California's sharply divided electorate remains to be seen (supposing anyone even takes the time during after-polling to ask voters whether they were swayed by his appeal). But more tangible is the fact that the multibillionaire has gifted a not-insignificant sum of his own money, $1 million, toward Proposition 19, California's marijuana legalization ballot measure.
Besides the reasons he outlined in his piece, why is Soros so committed to the cause? Bloggers have a few distinct, somewhat overlapping theories:
He wants to be "tight" with today's youth
"Our former college roommates could not agree more," The New York Observer's Mike Taylor writes in response to the op-ed.
He wants to make the Democratic Party and liberalism "in" again
"A major backer of Democratic politics, Soros has the means to mold and shape the party's political agenda, as many of the right have long argued that he does," The Upshot's Brett Michael Dykes says. "So it's little wonder that Soros would highlight the traditional pro-pot arguments in broad social-justice terms likely to appeal to traditional liberals."
He wants more green
"He is dying to get in on the market share of that s---," Daily Intel's Jessica Pressler argues.
He's an evil, thieving, anti-conservative genius
Coming to a similar conclusion as Dykes, Classical Values blogger Eric Scheie is disgusted with Soros' move: "Soros is basically buying a potential right wing issue right from under their noses. Theft through financial contamination. I don't think he really cares whether it passes, though. In fact, I think if he really just wanted it to pass, he would fund it covertly and quietly, while keeping his highly inflammatory name out of it. The man is truly sinister. But I have to admit that psychologically, it's a brilliant move."
He wants to look good
Compared with Men's Wearhouse Founder George Zimmer, who also backs Proposition 19. As Truthdig's Peter Scheer notes: "The billionaire is reportedly helping to fund the initiative, as is the guy from the Men's Wearhouse commercials."
Or, you know, he really believes what he says?
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