Sheldon Adelson's Weed Policy
Sheldon Adelson's Weed Policy

The Death of the Last Marijuana Prohibitionist

What does Sheldon Adelson's death teach us about US politics and political donations?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Jan 20, 2021

The Death of Resistance – What Sheldon Adelson’s Life Teaches Us about What’s Wrong with US Politics

Adelson on marijuana

With the death of Sheldon Adelson – we mark the ending of an era and the beginning of something else. For those of you who are unaware of who Sheldon Adelson was – don’t worry, I’ll introduce you to someone who helped shape the toxicity that is the War on Drugs.


Sheldon Adelson was a billionaire who – throughout his life – spent millions on fighting against cannabis legalization efforts across the country. While many of his attempts were failures – there were several instances where he did manage to stifle legalization attempts.


Since his passing – there have been no more major conservative donors fighting the wave of legalization efforts across the nation. In fact, New Jersey essentially had no organized opposition due to the lack of funds.


Could this mean that with the Death of Sheldon Alderson – we mark the beginning of a new era?


While Adelson hated drugs – most probably due to a personal tragedy – he made most of his money from other vices namely gambling. The casino mogul funneled millions via Super PACS and directly impacted American politics forever.


Adelson and Money in the Government


While Adelson was an ardent drug warrior – the fact of the matter is that he’s simply one of many in the U.S that has ‘special privileges’ via the means of SUPER PACs.


SUPER PACS or “Political Action Committees” (independent expenditure only political committees) are committees that may receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions and other PACs for the purpose of financing independent expenditures and other independent political activity - SOURCE


In other words, it’s a fund that can receive unlimited money for “financing independent expenditures” which typically become “government funded i.e taxpayer funded” once passed into legislation. Super PACS are lobbies where people fight for or against particular legislation ‘behind the scenes’.


The bills that legislators eventually vote on were passed through the hands of a wide variety of SUPER PACS that has a bunch of politicians in their pockets.


Sheldon Adelson’s SUPER PACs were primarily against drugs and very much “in favor of prohibition”. However, as SUPER PACS exist for prohibition – so they exist for virtually every other major industry in the U.S – silently shaping policy from the shadows, purchasing politicians like Pokemon.


In the early 1990s Adelson began to cultivate strong political views, and in subsequent years he became known as a “mega-donor” to the Republican Party. Taking full advantage of Supreme Court decisions that effectively removed limits on political contributions, he reportedly gave nearly $100 million in traceable donations during the 2012 elections. His contributions in 2016 were reportedly more than $50 million. Apart from strictly partisan politics, Adelson also spent heavily in support of the War on Drugs and in opposition to the legalization of online gambling. - Source


Can you imagine what $100 million could do for political sway in the U.S – well, you don’t have to imagine too hard since Sheldon was a prime example of what could be done.


Adelson’s political contributions should make the average citizen quiver, considering that one man had 100-million times more sway within political decisions than the average “Jane or Joe”.


Is it still a democracy when one person’s “vote” weighs more than millions of others?


Money Rules the World


When it’s all said and done, irrespective of which shirt you put on at the end of the day – your party, as with a vast majority of politicians in the U.S are bought by these mega millionaires. Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Prison – they all have millions of dollars invested in maintaining the status quo.


People like Sheldon Adelson, who can buy media outlets and cough up millions of dollars because they can – should serve as a reminder that there is a privileged class in the global political arena – those above the law and those beneath it.


Until there is fair representation within the United States – in that, corporations are not able to pay exuberant amounts of cash to politicians – the U.S will continue to have a problem where the rich gets richer and the poor keeps on getting poorer.


The Death of an Era


Since Adelson’s passing – no other billionaire stepped up to fill the vacuum he left and as a result, we’re seeing more places win cannabis legislation – even in states that are primarily “conservative”. Now, with the rising of psychedelics as medicine – are we finally seeing an end to prohibition with the death of the last drug warrior?


Project SAM and the likes just lost a whale-of-a-donor with the passing of Adelson, however – the cannabis community and those who advocate for cannabis normalcy – Adelson may very well have been the last nail in the coffin that is prohibition.





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