Though not a big surprise to those who closely follow Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder said today he voted for Washington’s legal weed law in 2012.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Gates said he’s been impressed so far with the implementation of Initiative 502. The voter-approved law is scheduled to go into full effect around June, when state-regulated pot shops open and adults can buy up to one ounce of legal pot per store visit.
“It’s an experiment, and it’s probably good to have a couple states try it out to see before you make that national policy,” said Gates, America’s leading philanthropist.
Much of Gates’ philanthropy has focused on global public health and American education. His comments to BuzzFeed about the impacts of legal weed reflected those concerns. “Can they keep it out of minors’ hands? Will it reduce alcohol consumption? Are there some people who use it at levels you might think of as inappropriate? Will drug gangs make less money?” he asked.
He appeared to answer his own last question, suggesting that the legal market would cut into the illegal-drug trade. Traffickers “are going to make a lot less money, and some of the perverse things about the illegal-drug trade will be avoided,” he said.
Gates refused to answer the question of whether he has smoked pot, BuzzFeed said. But a 1994 book co-authored by former Seattle Times reporter Paul Andrews strongly suggests he did. The book says “marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice” for Gates and his buds. Gates reportedly told Playboy in 1994 that he took LSD.
Gates comments’ are similar to those made by President Obama in a New Yorker profile published Sunday.