It’s not every day that a famed 78-year-old financial speculator and stock investor single-handedly gets weed on the ballot for legalization. But that’s exactly what George Soros accomplished in the state of Massachusetts yesterday.
Soros sits on Forbes’ list as the 97th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of over $9 billion. But despite working for the Carlyle Group and founding the successful Soros Fund Management, he is probably best known as “the man who broke the Bank of England” back in 1992.
Basically what happened was the British government withdrew ‘the pound’ from its fixed currency rate because it was no longer able to keep it above its lower value limit. Prior to this, Soros made a major ballsy bet by selling short $10 billion worth of British pounds and eventually earned $1.1 billion at the end of day. This made the guy instantly famous.
But it’s interesting to see that one of Soros’ biggest donations to “a cause” was in the form of a $400,000 check to The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy.
He just doesn’t play by the rules of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And reducing a carbon footprint? Soros pretty much says ‘F that’. “The Committee” ended up raising only $429,000 total dollars, so obviously Soros’ donation made a big difference. They needed at least $329,000 to collect all the necessary signatures to get on the ballot.
According to the AP article about Soros’ initiative, if the measure is approved in the state during the November vote, it will be the 13th state to ease of life marijuana laws. Under the Soros plan, carrying an ounce or less of the substance would only equate to a $100 fine.
Soros is credited with putting financial muscle behind many of the state initiatives easing marijuana laws — beginning with a 1996 California ballot question to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. From 1996 to 2000, Soros backed medical marijuana questions there and in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada and Maine.
So file this one under rich dudes who are every pothead’s dream come true. This reminds me of something I heard a stoned kid in college say once: “Dude, if I ever become one of the richest guys on the planet, I’m like totally gonna make weed legal. No more cops harshin our buzz. Pass the Bugles, dude!”
AP: Soros Behind Mass. Effort To Decriminalize Pot, August 28, 2008