Today's just-announced $1 million donation from philanthropist George Soros should help keep the Yes on 19 TV ad running through Election Day, as well as provide a tremendous boost to crucial get-out-the-vote efforts.
From Soros's op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal:
Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education. One survey after another indicates that teenagers have better access than most adults to marijuana—and often other drugs as well—and find it easier to buy marijuana than alcohol. Legalizing marijuana may make it easier for adults to buy marijuana, but it can hardly make it any more accessible to young people. I'd much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration. [...]
In many respects, of course, Proposition 19 already is a winner no matter what happens on Election Day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.
Sometimes the only appropriate response is to laugh out loud. Forbes.com columnist Rachel Ehrenfeld has discovered that the National Institute on Drug Abuse is presently soliciting proposals from a contractor to grow marijuana for research and other purposes.
Apparently unfamiliar with The Google and other search tools available on the Intertubes, Ehrenfeld actually thinks this is part of "Obamacare," and the fact that NIDA is "venturing into the marijuana cigarettes production and distribution" is the evil brainchild of George Soros, the pet villain of prohibitionists and other reactionaries.
Oh dear. That the federal government has been distributing medical marijuana to a small group of patients for more than three decades seems to have escaped her notice. So has the fact that, under present (thoroughly dysfunctional) rules, scientists doing clinical research on marijuana must obtain the marijuana for testing from NIDA, along with the fact that for most of that time the government has contracted with the University of Mississippi to produce marijuana for this purpose.
Poor Rachel rants about how studies have supposedly documented adverse effects of marijuana and fails completely to notice the wealth of research that documents medical efficacy and safety -- not to mention the vast array of medical and public health organizations that have recognized marijuana's medical potential.
Nah, it's all a conspiracy, with evil George Soros pulling Obama's puppet strings.
Rachel, call us when you return to planet Earth.