Photo Copyright 2009 C.David Freitag
An Open Letter to George Soros and fellow Billionaires
Dear George et al,
Perhaps you have noticed the rising tide of marijuana law reform in America. The issue is solidly in the mainstream for 2009. No week goes by without progress being made on the issue along with heavy media coverage. Truly, at no other time in the last 30 years has the topic of cannabis reform been more popular and prevalent in state legislatures and the federal government.
I have personally dedicated time and skills towards the goal of ending marijuana prohibition as a volunteer to several local and national groups.
Recently during some of my enthusiastically offered time I have been debating prohibitionists on television, radio and blogs. Too often I hear the same completely false opposition arguments, yet all that backward rhetoric is easily countered with facts about marijuana and my own charming demeanor.
But one hollow prohibitionist statement is somewhat frustrating and directly relates to you Mr. Soros. Frequently the marijuana law reform movement in the US, even the absolutely vital medical marijuana effort, is broadly accused of being funded by "billionaires like George Soros."
Giving credit where it is due: You and others of your financial stature have made generous contributions to select reform groups over the years. These have been valuable to the reform effort. That support to some groups came when the issue of cannabis reform did not enjoy its current overall popularity.
But the truth is that those few massive donations have not reached everyone in the marijuana reform movement. Not by a long shot.
Around America there is the greenest of the grassroots movements, one that includes thousands of active participants who speak up for millions of supporters. It is kept alive with some of the most dedicated volunteer spirit involved in any political movement; everyone working on the common cause of common sense prohibition reform.
There was a time that I had the privilege to work under contract for NORML-National in Washington DC to create podcasts. But I have never received any money from a billionaire, certainly never directly from you Mr. Soros.
That is why it is somewhat surreal in public debates when this humble volunteer (well, volunteer at least) is constantly accused of being well funded by none other than you!
One recent TV debate is an example
Here in New Jersey and Pennsylvania we are working every day on medical cannabis reform and other important issues. We do it for free.
Our groups of volunteers in PA and NJ are not unique. We are part of a vast network of non-paid advocates in every state.
But to be clear, we are absolutely not too proud to take money from billionaires. We would welcome your contribution.
So perhaps you would like to purchase a CMMNJ T-shirt or lapel pin, maybe a PhillyNORML T-Shirt or perhaps just a general (even anonymous) donation to PA4MMJ or CMMNJ....say for around $10 million dollars.
Perhaps you can invite some of your like-minded friends of similar financial stature like Bill Gates…because as much as I agree that AIDS in Africa is a deadly serious problem; there are thousands of HIV/AIDS patients who must edure fear of arrest along with their condition every day, because they live in American states that do not have a medical cannabis program yet.
Why not help them too?
Locally in PA and NJ we can make a lot happen with the backing of a billionaire or two.
Just look at what we and other advocates across the country do already, for free.