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This article appears in the October 18, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

LaRouche Helping Defeat
Nevada Pot Legalization

by Mark Sonnenblick

A Nevada ballot initiative heavily financed by "Dope, Inc." as a pioneer move to legalize marijuana nationwide, was initially thought a cinch to pass this Nov. 5. But three weeks from Election Day, Nevada political insiders and pollsters have told EIR, there's no way it's going to pass. A major cause of the reversal in voter opinion was an intervention by Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential campaign against the referendum. In a Sept. 8 release, LaRouche charged that the people of Nevada had been snookered by "mega-speculator George Soros" and the dope legalization lobby which he has funded, nationally and internationally. LaRouche went through the details of an EIR investigation (see article in EIR's Sept. 20 issue), showing how Soros profits from destroying national currencies and then uses the money to promote drugs.

"Preliminary investigations by associates of LaRouche have confirmed that the Nevada referendum is being run by a Washington, D.C.-based group, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which receives direct funding from Soros, through the Drug Policy Foundation, which has received more than $15 million from Soros in recent years," the release said. "Soros has poured at least $25 million into various dope legalization schemes over the past five years, and has vowed to substantially increase his bankrolling of the dope lobby efforts."

Billy Rogers, whose salary continues to be paid by the MPP, was sent to Las Vegas from Texas to run a deceptively named-front group, "Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement." A tight wall of silence about the actual content of so-called "Question 9" was maintained during May and June, while 110,000 signatures were collected to put it on the ballot. "Nevadans were told that they were signing a petition just to legalize medical marijuana," said one resident. The MPP paid $1-2 for each signature, at a cost of $375,000. Though IRS 990 Federal tax forms show it, the MPP will not talk about Soros' funding.

The Nov. 5 referendum authorizes anyone over the age of 21 to buy up to three ounces of marijuana from dealers, licensed and taxed by the state at the same rates as tobacco products. The state would also regulate pot cultivation and would guarantee "the distribution of marijuana at low cost" to medical patients; the latter could place the state in the dope business—a precedent that Soros and the dope lobby would like to set.

Once the referendum gained ballot status, media reports pegged it a sure winner. An MPP spokesman rejoiced that "this is the first [drug legalization] initiative with a serious chance of passing, that would transform how states deal with marijuana." Las Vegas CityLife, a weekly pro-pot magazine, puffed: "And it would set a nice precedent; if this ballot initiative passes muster, Nevada would become the first state to effectively give the finger to the Feds in terms of marijuana laws." A legal supply to a large flow of visitors, especially to the casinos, would make Federal anti-pot laws almost unenforcible.

`Clear and Present Danger'

Nevada LaRouche activists circulated his campaign statement and the EIR articles to all state press and throughout the Democratic Party; and to meetings held by the referendum's beleaguered and—until then—ineffectual opponents. The big break came when State Sen. Joe Neal (D-North Las Vegas), the outpsoken political leader who overwhelmingly won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in a primary last month, seized upon EIR's exposé of Soros and transformed the debate into one between LaRouche and the drug and money-laundering cartel, which had mobilized its many assets in the state.

With this impetus, other anti-legalization forces also made effective use of EIR's Soros material. On Oct. 4, after hearing Neal and Gary Booker—the prosecutor assigned to represent law enforcement's views—indict Soros and the drug cartel for imposing their sordid interests on Nevada, the State Board of Health voted unanimously to mobilize voters against the referendum. It warned that passage would cause "a clear and present danger" to the health and safety of Nevadans.

That triggered hysterical responses from the pot lobby, with MPP's front group issuing releases full of hoary slanders of LaRouche. The state's dominant daily, the pro-legalization 151,000-circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, ran story after story on the battle between LaRouche's and Soros' forces. Thus, LaRouche and his policies have been made a central issue Nevada's election. Those responsible for the attacks on LaRouche thought that they could cause referendum opponents to back off; but Senator Neal is holding firm, repeating to all who ask that the charges by EIR and LaRouche are credible.

If legalization is defeated, every politically aware Nevadan will see a victory for LaRouche and his political method. The latest Mason Dixon poll taken for the Review-Journal shows citizens 55-40% against. This has sent Billy Rogers into orbit with a bizarre Oct. 8 release, "Question 9 Opponents Quote Man Who Called Bush `Insane'; Booker, Neal Cite LaRouche as Source of `Campaign of Lies.' " Parts of EIR's reply were reported in the Review-Journal on Oct. 9.

"In his wild and incoherent rant," the reply said, "the Texas `ex-'pothead Billy Rogers is exhibiting the kind of aberrant mental behavior that one expects from a habituated marijuana user—and, which sensible public health and law enforcement officials seek to protect our citizens against. As for his comments about Mr. LaRouche, many of them are rewarmed slanders whose ultimate source is pothead Chip Berlet. Berlet's most infamous article on Mr. LaRouche was entitled, `They Want to Take Your Drugs Away!' and was published in the dope lobby's High Times magazine.

"Looking past his venom against Mr. LaRouche, pothead Rogers offers no evidence to contradict the basic fact that his efforts and the referendum itself are a `put-up job' by the Dope Lobby itself, part of operations funded by the mega-speculator and dope promoter, George Soros. . . . It is documented by IRS 990 forms that this MPP [which pays Rogers' salary] is funded by the Soros-funded Drug Policy Foundation."

Rogers has continued to rant, but political observers in the state have noted that he is also exhibiting the hysteria of a man facing defeat, despite all the money poured into the efforts by his dope lobby sponsors.

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