By Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and the author of CBD Plus Omega-3: Upping The Ante of Your CBD Absorption.
Most of the billionaires supporting Trump have either stopped or greatly reduced their contributions to his re-election campaign. Consequently, his largest contributor is now Sheldon Adelson, the international casino tycoon. It would make sense that Adelson would support someone who is friendly towards the casino business, even if Trump’s casinos all went bankrupt.
However, Adelson has also been a major funder of campaigns against marijuana legalization, even medical marijuana.
Like many supporters of marijuana prohibition, Adelson’s position is supposedly the result of his son overdosing on heroin and cocaine. Adelson believes that marijuana is a “Gateway Drug.”
The Gateway theory, hypothesis, effect, is the name given to the statistical fact that most users of “hard drugs” had previously used cannabis. The inference of causality is the logical error that textbooks call post hoc ergo propter hoc. After this therefore because of this.
Is the first “drug” used a gateway, stepping stone, threshold, etc., to whatever drugs are subsequently used?
Of course, no one would ever use “drugs”, if they did not start using “drugs”. If there is a second drug, there will always be a first drug, but is it a “gateway”? The debate over the “gateway” is simply a debate over the meaning of an established statistical fact. Sadly, marijuana prohibition was the legal system that actually led to his son’s use of hard drugs, and his son’s tragic death. In The Netherlands, where marijuana has been openly sold for decades under a policy called “Separation of the Markets”, hard drug use is much lower than in the US.
Of course, most hard drug users actually “began with” alcohol and tobacco, two drugs found in Adelson’s casinos. And, on a personal note, my mother died of the effects of alcoholism, and heavy tobacco use. Should I oppose casinos?
However, Adelson has also opposed medical marijuana, and his multimillion-dollar contribution to the opposition to Florida’s first medical marijuana initiative was probably decisive in 2014. Shamefully, his 2014 contribution was the result of his friendship with, Mel Sembler, a Florida real estate investor, who was the founder of Straight, Incorporated, one of the most appalling “anti-drug” programs in the history of the drug war.
In any case, President Trump’s Administration is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Prohibitionist Deep State. Adelson knows what he is buying, but maybe not who he has bought.