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Billionaire Activists Blazing Marijuana Legalization Campaign: From Soros To Sean Parker

Next Tuesday, Americans will not be only voting for the next president, but millions of voters across nine states will also decide on legal marijuana initiatives. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will have ballots on recreational marijuana, while Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota will vote for or against medical marijuana. For its part, Montana voters will determine if the state should ease the restrictions that apply to medical cannabis laws already in effect.

In California, the measure dubbed Proposition 64 has amassed plenty of support, and the campaign for it has managed to raise roughly $16 million — about 10 times what its opposition got. Among those backing this proposal are former Facebook Inc FB president Sean Parker and hedge fund legend George Soros.

“We have broad support from a generous coalition of donors who care deeply about social justice because they know you can’t end the failed war on marijuana in America without ending it in California first,” Jason Kinney, a spokesman for the Proposition 64 campaign explained.

It should be noted that Proposition 64 has plenty of support among voters, who see the booming marijuana industry as a great way to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Take into account that, last year, the legal marijuana industry generated $2.4 billion and 18,000 new jobs in Colorado alone, counting both direct weed sales and adjacent business verticals.

“Legal marijuana is no longer a pipe dream: It's an investment,” Claremont McKenna College professor Jack Pitney explained. “Public opinion has shifted strongly in favor of legalization, and the smart money is following the people.”

Also contributing to the legalization campaign in California are:

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.

© 2016 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.