Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul and Republican megadonor whose death at 87 was announced Tuesday, left an indelible mark on American politics.
Adelson was one of the first ultrawealthy Americans to funnel oceans of cash through “super PACs” to influence policy and elections, and one of the most effective. A lifelong supporter of the drug war—a view he held at least in part because of personal tragedy—Adelson was also the last reliable source of money for marijuana legalization opponents to tap.
But after burning millions in failed efforts to defeat cannabis ballot initiatives in 2016, Adelson—and his wife, Miriam, a doctor whose name is on a Las Vegas addiction-recovery clinic—gave up.
For anyone trying to find money to beat back the tide of drug-policy reform, that was the end of an era. For anyone opposing the drug war, it was the end of the beginning.
Since the Adelsons quit the field, to date, nobody else—not a tycoon with disposable income, nor a political lobby or a corporate interest in pharmaceuticals—has tried to fill the gap. Since then, political campaigns to legalize cannabis have encountered no well-funded opposition. [Read More @ Forbes.com]