Not so long ago, the press found out that a billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was putting a shocking amount of money into the fight against the legalization of weed for recreational use in Nevada. Financial disclosures showed that the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino was the biggest investor in the Protect Nevada’s Children PAC, which also was obtained tens of thousands of U.S. dollars from MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming, and the South Point casino.
Together, they are fighting against a ballot measure known as Question 2.
Two PACs supporting marijuana legalization in Nevada have raised $1.8 million since June 2016, which is close to the $2.1 million haul of their opponents. Pro-Question 2 donations mostly come from the cannabis industry and the marijuana policy reform group.
In 2000, Sheldon Adelson’s wife even founded a clinic in Las Vegas that helps people quite consuming weed and treat drug addiction. No wonder her husband is the major contributor to anti-cannabis efforts.
A similar measure exists on the ballot in Massachusetts, and it is called Question 4. It is going to legalize possession, consumption, and selling of up to an ounce of pot for recreational use by residents aged 21 and older. Retail sales of cannabis could start as soon as in January 2018. Medical marijuana is already available for legal purchase in Massachusetts. However, the activist Adelson did his work here as well. He recently donated almost $1 million to oppose the legalization of recreational cannabis in Massachusetts. According to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts (S&HM), the contribution from the Las Vegas magnate will appear in public filings next week. Local cannabis supporters are outraged that someone is trying to tell their voters how to vote on Question 4. Among other opponents of marijuana legalization is Bobby Orr, who contributed $1,000 to the S&HM Campaign.
Last month, Adelson also put $1 million towards the budget of the political committee to fight Florida's Amendment 2, a proposal for legalizing medical marijuana. Let us remind you that two years ago, Mr. Adelson contributed $5.5 million to defeat a similar initiative in Florida.