After last month donating $1 million in aid of the fight against a proposal that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has now reportedly contributed $500,000 to thwart a similar proposition in Arizona.
According to a report from The Associated Press news service, 83-year-old Adelson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for American casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corporation and recently joined the ranks of those funding Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy, which is a group opposing Proposition 205.
If passed by voters on the upcoming November 8 ballot, Proposition 205 would allow adults in Arizona over the age of 21 to legally use, possess, manufacture, transport and give away up to an ounce of marijuana. The proposal would additionally permit residents to grow up to six marijuana plants at home while tasking a new Department Of Marijuana Licenses And Control state agency with licensing and regulating the market.
The Associated Press reported that proponents of the campaign assert that legalizing marijuana would create safer communities and more money for schools while weakening drug cartels by eliminating a thriving black market and allow police to focus on more serious crimes.
However, opponents of Proposition 205 have claimed that such legalization would lead to a host of new problems including increases in teen use, marijuana-related vehicle accidents and the influence of criminal organizations as well as decreased local authority, while not providing any evidence for such.
The report from The Associated Press declared that Arizonans For Responsible Drug Policy has so far raised around $4.3 million to fight Proposition 205 including $1 million from Discount Tire Company and $500,000 from Insys Therapeutics, which is a pharmaceutical firm currently in the process of developing medicinal cannabinoids.
“We’re grateful for every donation we receive to help stop this bad policy from becoming law and we’re proud to have the strong backing of business leaders and philanthropists like the Adelsons who understand the disastrous consequences of passing Proposition 205,” read a statement from Proposition 205 critic Annie Vogt.
The Associated Press reported that 2014 saw Adelson gift approximately $5 million to oppose a medical marijuana measure in Florida while he has spent around $2 million so far this year opposing a similar proposal for residents of Nevada. The Boston-born billionaire established a non-profit drug abuse treatment and research clinic with his wife in 2000 and has moreover gifted about $1 million to topple an upcoming marijuana legalization ballot question for Massachusetts.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 with Barrett Marson, a spokesperson for Proposition 205, telling The Associated Press that Adelson has no problem with people visiting one of his many casinos in order to enjoy alcohol and games of blackjack.
“But he wants to put you in jail if your preference is to consume marijuana while playing video games in the privacy of your home,” read a statement from Marson. “The hypocrisy is disappointing.”