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Billionaire Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is.

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Billionaire Set To Propose Med-Pot Vote in Ohio Posted by CN Staff[ on May 03, 2011 at 06:46:43 PT

By Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch

Source: Columbus Dispatch


Ohio -- Billionaire Peter Lewis is sending up smoke signals about a proposal for an Ohio ballot issue to legalize medical use of marijuana.


Lewis, a Clevelander who is chairman of Progressive Insurance, the nation's third-largest insurer, has given millions over the years to marijuana-related causes. Now, he wants to bring the issue to his home state.


Through his attorney, Lewis put out a request for proposals to pass an Ohio issue that will "create a model for future campaigns in other states."


Following California in 1996, 14 other states have passed ballot issues legalizing marijuana for medically qualified patients, most through ballot issues.


The request says Ohio "stands out as having particularly high levels of voter support. This provides an opportunity to enact a new law that will directly help patients and to do so in a manner that will serve as a model for other states."


Lewis is seeking a proposal to include drafting ballot language, qualifying for the ballot, building an organization, communicating with voters and raising money.


Lewis was one of a trio of wealthy backers of an unsuccessful 2002 ballot issue substituting treatment for incarceration for most non-violent drug offenders.


In addition, he has given about $1.5 million to state and federal political candidates and parties, mostly Democrats, in the past decade.


Lewis was arrested in 2000 for possession of marijuana and hashish at an airport in New Zealand, but charges were dropped when he made a generous donation to a drug-rehab center.


Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)

Author: Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch

Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Copyright: 2011 The Columbus Dispatch

Contact: letters@dispatch.com

Website: http://www.dispatch.com/

URL: http://drugsense.org/url/SrHou5cK


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A billionaire who has a long history of sending insurance industry lobbyists to Columbus and DC with suitcases full of money to "donate". Will be interesting to see how politicians react.



With that kind of experience in the political 'backrooms' where eveything that gets done takes place, perhaps he might just do it.


Knowing where to put the money in Washington is a good thing to know. Because we all know it 'ain't always the votes' that count.


If it was, we wouldn't be having all the trouble with the MMM Act that we are having.


Might just switch my insurance to the 'Progessive Team' myself.


Can't wait to see who he backs for the 2012 elections.

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Great news circulating in Ohio on my birthday!!


Peter Lewis backed the 2002 effort here that did not succeed.


If you didn't know that he donated millions in the past, you may not know this either: As an employer, Progressive Insurance does NOT have a drug testing policy.


They, along with a number of other rather large companies that seem to get it, including Oracle.

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i never knew the CEO of Progressive was MMJ Compasionate. May seriously look at useing Progressive Ins from here on out.

I agree we in the Medical Marijuana community need to support businesses that are marijuana friendly and spread the word to others that agree and support medical marijuana and reforming marijuana laws in general maybe then the corporate world would get the message and not be so intimidated by the Feds
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