The movement to legalize cannabis for recreational consumption in California got some major financial support from Silicon Valley’s Sean Parker this week.
The young Bay Area technology billionaire/philanthropist is matching voters dollar for dollar to end cannabis prohibition in the world’s eighth largest economy.
The Marijuana Policy Project, the group spearheading the legalization campaign announced via an email to supporters that Sean Parker will match all donations to MPP of California. Donors can give the campaign committee any amount, though it’s not tax deductible.
“We’re very excited about the generosity he’s shown,” said Mason Tvert, Communications Director of MPP. “This is someone who wants to see marijuana prohibition end and helped bring a lot of folks together, and now he’s putting his money where his mouth is.”
Parker is one of the major voices championing legalization in California, and this isn’t the first time he’s put his capital behind policy movements, medical research, and civil society groups.
According to SFGate, Parker has given to cancer, diabetes, and auto-immune research, and his pledge of support helped catalyze the formation of the leading initiative, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, proposed by Dr. Donald Lyman and conservationist Michael Sutton.
Think of Sean Parker as one of the newer generation of wealthy “activists” who are getting behind long-stigmatized issues, from the drug war to mass incarceration.
Police arrest about 700,000 people per year for marijuana. Marijuana is the number one type of drug arrest. Drugs are the number one type of arrest police make.
And Parker is in a position to make a difference. “This younger generation of activists — many millennials, many entertainers — are feeling less stigma about coming out about this issue. It’s safer,” said Amanda Reiman, Marijuana Law and Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance. “Folks our age care about this stuff — some just happen to have billions of dollars.”