Cleveland billionaire aids war on drugs.

Discussion in 'General' started by xericx, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. We need more billionaire pot-heads like this man.

    Cleveland billionaire backs S.C. marijuana measure

    \t \t By Shanna McCord
    SENTINEL STAFF WRITER SANTA CRUZ - A pot-smoking billionaire in Cleveland has bankrolled nearly all the $32,000 raised for the ballot measure to make marijuana crimes the lowest priority for Santa Cruz police.
    Mega-donor Peter Benjamin Lewis, 71, chairman of the Cleveland-based Progressive Insurance Corp., is known in political circles as a leftist who gives millions to liberal causes and anti-war movements - in the same league as his friend, financier George Soros. The two are the country's biggest contributors to liberal candidates and causes such as marijuana legalization, gay rights and the environment.
    Highest on Lewis' list of political priorities is the effort to decriminalizing marijuana.
    Disclosure forms filed this week by Santa Cruz Citizens for Sensible Marijuana Policy with the county Elections Department report Lewis contributing $32,000 to the Santa Cruz ballot measure.
    Roughly $1,200 of the Santa Cruz marijuana campaign has come from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws of San Francisco.
    None has come from local donors, according to the financial disclosure forms.
    "Most of our money may come through another channel, but we are a grassroots organization," said proponent Andrea Tischler. "It costs a lot of money to run a campaign and we don't think that will matter to the voters if the money comes from someplace else."
    <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="310"> <tbody> <tr bgcolor="#ffffff" valign="top"> <td colspan="2">[​IMG]</td> </tr> </tbody></table> The measure would force police officers to focus on crimes other than adult marijuana sales or use on private property, and would not allow officers to participate in regional marijuana busts.
    Some, including City Attorney John Barisone, question the measure's legality.
    Lewis strongly favors taxing and regulating the use and sale of the drug. He was a chief backer in California's 1996 passage of Proposition 215, the measure that made medical-marijuana use legal.
    A bulk of the Ohio man's marijuana-related contributions - seven-figure yearly donations - goes to the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.
    The nonprofit, established in 1995, doles out Lewis' money to "grassroots organizations" working around the country to pass local legislation to legalize marijuana, spokesman Bruce Mirken said.
    Lewis' money went through the Policy Project before reaching Santa Cruz, where it paid for the $20,000 petition drive earlier this year that yielded almost twice the required 3,400 signatures of registered city voters to qualify the initiative for the Nov. 7 ballot.
    "Peter Lewis is our largest individual donor," Mirken said Thursday. "He has been involved in supporting marijuana-law reform for a number of years. The grants program he funds has been in the neighborhood of $2 million."
    Ranked as one of the world's richest people by Forbes magazine, Lewis was arrested for possession of marijuana in January 2000 while traveling in New Zealand.
    He admitted to three charges of importing drugs and freely acknowledged to being a regular pot smoker, according to various media reports, including an article in the Capital Research Center in Washington, D.C.
    Lewis has also been the biggest donor to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, giving $77 million to the arts institution since 1993.
    The Princeton graduate gave a gift of $60 million to the Ivy League university for the construction of a library in his name, and has given more than $60 million to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
    A spokeswoman for Progressive Insurance on Thursday said Lewis was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

  2. good find we def. need more people like that + rep
  3. This man is a hero.

    We should build a statue of him.

    And he should all mail us each a pound of the finest dank.
  4. I found this photo of him.

    Look closely at his eyes.

    Little bit glazed maybe?

  5. Nice R_M, he is definatly is blazed for that picture.

  6. rockin de ganj...i love billionaires with thier head out of thier asses.:love:
  7. I think I'd go a little bit nutty if i had billions of dollars.
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