Soros’s success in legalizing marijuana use is now putting millions of Americans who have taken up smoking marijuana (because it’s legal) at higher risk of infection by COVID-19.
George Soros’s first major effort to reshape America was undertaking the legitimization of illegal drug use, especially marijuana. Soros initially said his overarching goal was to promote informed discussion of drug policy. But debate and discussion are not his style and were not his objects. Instead, he used his resources to fund think-tanks, foundations, and public policy action groups that successfully muddled public opinion enough to change public laws, making illegal drug use legal.
In the early 1990s, the notion of legalizing marijuana in the U.S. was unthinkable and unacceptable. The voices to legalize drugs were marginal and not in sync. This changed in 1993, when Soros, who claimed that prohibitionist drug policies are wrong because they contradict his vision of the “Open Society,” launched a $15-million pro-drug legalization propaganda campaign that has made him the new darling of the media left. Soros and his acolytes have garnered enormous press attention through a barrage of magazine articles, op-ed pieces, and television appearances. By 1996, the slogans of “medicalization” and “compassion” joined “legalization” and “decriminalization,” as well as “nonviolent drug offender.” All of these were shaping the vocabulary of the public dialogue. Soros’s sponsorship provided the credibility theretofore lacking in the movement to legalize drugs.
David Callahan, the liberal founder and editor of the website Inside Philanthropy, noted in his 2018 book The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, that “no philanthropist has done more than Soros to soften America’s drug laws. Soros got behind that cause in the mid-1990s, funding a new drug policy think tank and bankrolling the push for medicinal marijuana, widely seen as a bridge to legalization. Today, two decades after Soros began his push – and many tens