Former Facebook president Sean Parker gave half million dollars for marijuana legalization initiative in California

By Staff Writer

Jan 12, 2016 04:03 AM EST

Former Facebook exec Sean Parker donated $500,000 to a new committee that plans to legalize recreational marijuana in California, raising the fund to $1.25 million.

According to the news from Business Insider, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist gave the money through his Sean N. Parker Foundation. Besides legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in the state to adults 21 and up, the newly formed group also calls on taxing 15 percent of its retail sale.

The Guardian has reported that the new proposal has a potential to bring more than a billion dollars in tax annually. However, not all in the marijuana industry are happy with the proposal. California Growers Association executive president Hezekiah Allen said, "This skews towards big marijuana."

The attorney general of California cleared the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Wednesday. It can now start its campaign to collect 365,880 signatures to be included in the general election in 2016. The signature campaign could cost somewhere between $2 million to $10 million.

"I've been following this issue with great interest for some time," said the maker of Napster to Forbes. "It's very encouraging to see a vibrant community of activists, many of whom have dedicated their lives to this issue, coming together around a sensible reform based measure that protects children, gives law enforcement additional resources, and establishes a strong regulatory framework for responsible adult use of marijuana-one that will yield economic benefits for all Californians."

The campaign organizers came up with the political action committee known as the California to Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana while Protecting Children. Besides Parker, it gained monetary support from WeedMaps' Justin Hartfield, the PAC of the Drug Policy Alliance, Drug Policy Action, and the Marijuana Policy Protection of California.

Hartfield donated $250,000 through his own PAC. Meanwhile, Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis gave $250,000.

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