Sheldon Adelson — business magnate, casino owner, and recent buyer of the Las Vegas Review-Journal — is putting pressure on the newspaper’s editorial staff to change its progressive stance on cannabis policy.
Journalists who attended a meeting with publisher Jason Taylor and editor Glenn Cook reported that Adelson and his wife Miriam asked editorial board members to visit a drug treatment center so that they might re-examine the paper’s pro-legalization stance.
Nevada voters will be asked to approve or deny a measure that would legalize cannabis there in November. The Review-Journal has published editorials in favor of legalizing marijuana since 2002.
52% of people in drug treatment centers who are there mostly or entirely for cannabis were sent there by the criminal justice system, according to federal data released last month. With an epidemic of opioid overdoses in the U.S., sending so many marijuana users to take up spots in drug treatment programs seems a questionable policy.
It appears that marijuana is an issue the Adelsons are particularly concerned about. Publisher Jason Taylor said they will not be exercising this kind of influence on other issues, such as endorsements of political candidates.
Adelson was an influential donor in opposition of a 2014 Florida measure that would have legalized medical cannabis. The measure failed narrowly.