An initiative to legalize marijuana was just filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. How this proposal differs from the 17 other proposals currently submitted are its supporters: the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sean Parker, philanthropist and political activist, who will provide funding. If you saw the movie, “The Social Network,” then you know that Sean Parker was Facebook’s first big investor and served as its first president. Mr. Parker’s wealth will guarantee the legalization campaign is fierce.
By the time you read this, Ohio voters will have decided the fate of Prop. 3, The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, that would “legalize the limited sale and use of marijuana and create 10 facilities with exclusive commercial rights to grow marijuana” (ballotpedia.org). What is proving to be more controversial than legalization is that this proposition essentially creates a marijuana monopoly controlled by wealthy people. One investor who stands to win is Nick Lachey, formerly a member of the boy band 98 Degrees and also the former Mr. Jessica Simpson.
Finally, atlnightspots.com reports Phillip Morris Marlboro “M” Brand Weed Cigarettes will be available for sale in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska beginning Dec. 1. Prices start at $89 per pack, and you can only buy one at a time. You must be 21 years or older to purchase and must provide a photo ID. Any resale of the Philip Morris Marlboro “M” Brand Marijuana cigarettes is subject to fines and jail time according to local laws. Serafin Norcik, Philip Morris’ senior vice president for marketing, said in an interview, “Our company has been high on the idea for marketing cannabis and has been monitoring the market for some time. We have finally made the decision to take the leap and support these states in their right to legalized recreational marijuana use.”
And that summarizes the point of this column: marijuana will be legal because people with access to wealth and corporate capitalism want it to be. Move over, hippie potheads. Big money is coming through.