Billionaire Sean Parker Wins, Sheldon Adelson Loses On Marijuana Ballot Measures
Billionaire Sean Parker was the biggest backer of California’s measure to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults, which won on Tuesday with 56% of the vote. Meanwhile, billionaire Sheldon Adelson spent millions opposing marijuana legalization measures in four other states, yet all but one passed anyway.
Parker, who was Facebook’s founding president, contributed $8.9 million to three committees supporting California’s Proposition 64, according to campaign finance records. FORBES estimates that Parker, a philanthropist with homes in New York and Los Angeles, has a net worth of $2.4 billion. Billionaire Nicholas Pritzker II, an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, also donated $900,000 to committees promoting the measure. Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who cofounded PayPal and Palantir, chipped in another $300,000 one week before the election.
Under the new law, Californians who are 21 or older can possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants. People serving time for marijuana-related offenses can apply to get their sentences reduced or overturned, and others to get their records cleared. Legislative analysts predict that the legalization of recreational marijuan will produce than $1 billion in state and local tax revenues.
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