Billionaire Peter Lewis: My War On Drug Laws

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by oltex, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Billionaire Peter Lewis: My War On Drug Laws
    Forbes / Clare O'Conner / 09,21,2011

    Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive, net worth $1.05bn

    Progressive Insurance chairman Peter Lewis has devoted many years and millions of dollars to reforming marijuana policy. Below, in his own words, he tells FORBES why he'll keep battling drug laws. This story is featured in the latest FORBES 400 issue, newsstand date October 10, 2011.

    Our marijuana laws are outdated, ineffective and stupid. I'm not alone in thinking this: Half of Americans believe we should stop punishing people for using marijuana. And not coincidentally, more than half of Americans have used marijuana themselves. I am one of those Americans, and I know firsthand that marijuana can be helpful and that it certainly isn't cause for locking anyone up.

    My story is fairly simple. I grew up after college in a world where social drinking was the norm but marijuana was hidden. When I was 39 I tried marijuana for the first time. I found it to be better than scotch. But it wasn't until I had serious medical problems that I realized how important marijuana could be.

    When I was 64 my left leg was amputated below the knee because there was an infection that couldn't be cured. I spent a year after the amputation in excruciating pain and a year in a wheelchair. So during that period I was very glad I had marijuana. It didn't exactly eliminate the pain, but it made the pain tolerable-and it let me avoid those heavy-duty narcotic pain relievers that leave you incapacitated.

    I am a progressive by birth, by nature, by philosophy-that's the name of the insurance company I ran as well, which is coincidental-but I am a small ‘p' progressive. I don't believe that laws against things that people do regularly, like safe and responsible use of marijuana, make any sense. Everything that has been done to enforce these laws has had a negative effect, with no results.

    It's become sort of a central philanthropic interest of mine-by no means my only interest. But I'm pretty clear. I've thought it through, and I'm trying to accomplish something. My mission is to reduce the penalties for growing, using and selling marijuana. It's that simple.

    I've been conducting a great deal of research on public opinion on marijuana. Change in this area is inevitable, much like the movement toward equal rights for gays and lesbians. An ever shrinking fraction of the country resists changing marijuana laws, largely for moral reasons.

    But change is coming. It's just a question of when and how we get there.
    When you think about all the people who have used marijuana-from political leaders to sports stars to corporate executives to people from every walk of life-one way to win this battle is for people to just be honest. If everyone who used marijuana stood up and said, “I use this; it's pretty good,” the argument would be over.

    I'm amazed that anyone could oppose marijuana for medical use. It's compassionate. Doctors recommend it. But the federal government is so hung up on its war on drugs that it refuses to even allow medical research on marijuana. So I've ­supported changing the laws state by state, and I'll ­continue to do so.

    On legalization beyond medical use, we may be some years away, or we may find that we suddenly reach a tipping point, much like the end of alcohol prohibition in the last century. I'm supporting innovative ideas to move toward a system that would regulate, control and tax marijuana.

    I'm retired; I have time to work on this, to treat it with the same seriousness that I treated my former work running a large corporation. I care deeply about it. I deeply believe that we'll have a better country and a better world if marijuana is treated more or less like alcohol.

    :wave:We need more like him!
  2. :)

    That put a smile on my face, good to see more come out of the closet about Cannabis!
  3. Amazing! You're a good man Peter Lewis... now go use your money and buy yourself a heck of a nice bong.
  4. I now know who to call next year when our local movement needs a few grand to pay professional signature getting people.
  5. He has some kind of agenda man.Idk what it is,but this shit is just to good to be true.
  6. I am not sure he does,,other than the ending of marijuana prohibition.Now Soros,,,he owns a large portion of Monsanto,,so you can guess his agenda,,,but Lewis appears to be the real deal.
  7. That's awesome.
  8. Colbert recently did an episode about his Superpac and explained that marijuana law reform was by far the most popular issue but almost NO ONE donated to his super pac for it.

    We need more rich guys like Peter lewis who have their head clearly outside their ass.
  9. Awesome. His kind is a rare breed, especially in his generation. It's nice to see someone that isn't just another stubborn old fool who resists any change and all that is unfamiliar.
  10. Peter Lewis

  11. Lets see if I can get this right.

    Colbert wants people with money to donate to his superpac,,but supporters of cannabis are mostly the people using it,,,not the rich bastards selling it.
    He should contact the banks and cartels about supporting prohibition. :eek:
  12. Congrats our lower neighbours US. From Canada really good news for anyone in anyone country.
  13. what other agenda could he possibly have...i got goosebumps reading through it because its so fucking true and complete horse shit that the federal govt is stalling on this issue of decriminalizing or legalizing which should have been done 10 years ago.

    this guy is rich as shit and could not possibly have another agenda..if he does i would like to hear your idea of what it could be?


  14. but he DOES have an agenda! he wants to end marijuana prohibition...
  15. does anybody here sell in carrol county my old dealer is in jail message me if u want to talk
  16. Peter Lewis (born July 15, 1945) is one of the founding members of the band Moby Grape. Three of his better known songs with Moby Grape are "Fall On You" and "Sitting By The Window" from the self-titled first Moby Grape album and "If You Can't Learn From My Mistakes", from Moby Grape '69.

    Knew I had heard his name somewhere.

  17. We're not allowed to talk about dealing in the City dude.

    This was a very uplifting read. I'd like to shake this guys hand and smoke a bowl with him. Hooray for philanthropists with good causes.

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