Sean Parker plans to give away all his money before he dies, and he's not just going to blow it on whatever drugs he might have been doing in this picture, taken at the Playboy Mansion Halloween party sitting next to space pharaoh Elon Musk (left).
No, Parker's days of trashing Big Sur for cosplay weddings are over. He's got too much money for trifles, and as always, he seems to want to play the "cool friend." You know, the kind of guy who scores you a bunch of free music with Napster, the type of pal you might trust to be president of your company The Facebook. These days he's even, no joke, funding a cure for allergies, because he's got your back like that.
This all leads us to today, when — as the Chronicle had the early word — Parker announced he'd step up and be California's pot friend. Parker will indeed be funding and campaigning for a 2016 California ballot measure to legalize recreational reefer, as the LA Times confirmed.
According to the measure that Parker's backing, which is importantly competing with several others, the state would levy a 15 percent tax on retail sales of pot, which adults would be legally allowed to possess, transport, and use in the amount of up to an ounce.
Answering a big question of what's to become of medical pot operations, "to help get the market up and running," the measure reads, "existing medical marijuana businesses will get priority for the new (recreational sales) licenses.”
Legally, anyone would be entitled to grow up to six pot plants, though that would have to be "out of public view and secure from children," and with more rules left up to local governments.
And crucially, people convicted of marijuana crimes “that are no longer crimes or have been reduced to petition a court for penalty reductions or record expungement.”
Tax revenue from the sale of pot would go in part toward the creation of a California Marijuana Tax Fund. That fund would give $10 million each year (until 2028) to a public university in CA for research into the effects of legalization, essentially keeping an eye on it. It would also provide $3 million annually to the California Highway Patrol to "develop protocols and best practices to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana," which will obviously be needed.
Parker's cash, which he's pooling with others, could be key to the passage of any such measure, and now might make this the one measure rally behind. As the Chronicle puts its, harkening back five years:
Unlike Proposition 19, the failed 2010 initiative to legalize weed in California, this measure won’t lack for cash. Joining Parker in financing the legalization drive will be an all-star cast of cannabis-friendly funders, including Hyatt Hotel heirs Nick and Joby Pritzker; WeedMaps app founder Justin Hartfield, who has already contributed $2 million toward next year’s legalization effort; and Graham Boyd, who is connected with the heirs of the Progressive Insurance fortune.
Gavin Newsom has long seen the writing on the wall with this one, putting together a commission in advance of legalization in order to make recommendations for regulation. The Chron speculates that his role could be to unite "the sprawling — and often feuding — factions of the cannabis community under a single measure."