Tech Billionaire Sean Parker Will Match Donations to California LegalizationBen AdlinDecember 16, 2015
Napster founder and early Facebook investor Sean Parker is throwing his weight behind a California measure to legalize recreational cannabis, having pledged this week to match all donations to the campaign.
The tech billionaire has long voiced his support for recreational legalization in the state, but advocates had been waiting to see how much financial backing he’d bring. According to a Tuesday announcement from the Marijuana Policy Project, Parker will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to any amount. That could add up to big money in a push that some estimate will cost $20 million.
“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,” MPP’s communications director, Mason Tvert, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
California legalization advocates only recently united behind the initiative, titled the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, which had submitted a competing measure, announced last week that it would drop that effort and back the initiative.
The measure has won endorsements from other high-profile advocates, including state Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California Cannabis Industry Association, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, among others.
Voters in a host of states will decide on recreational use in the coming election cycle, but California — the world’s eighth-largest economy — is by far the biggest prize for advocates, making it the top priority for opponents looking to quell the legalization movement. Parker’s funding commitment is one of many we’re likely to see from both sides in coming months.
Read more about California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act here: