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Soap Maker Who Backed Pot Legalization In Colorado Supports Same Effort In D.C.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps have attracted a cult following with their organic ingredients and wordy packaging. 
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps have attracted a cult following with their organic ingredients and wordy packaging. 

A California-based organic soap maker is putting big money into a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in D.C., following similar donations to initiatives that did the same in Colorado and Washington state.

David Bronner, owner of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, has donated $20,000 to the initiative, which was filed with the D.C. Board of Elections in January. If it makes it to the November ballot and is approved by voters, D.C. residents over the age of 21 would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, sell one ounce at a time and keep three mature plants in their homes.

Bronner, the grandson of the soap company's founder, has put his personal wealth behind a number of progressive causes, including fighting against genetically modified foods and for the legalization of both marijuana and hemp. He donated $100,000 to successful legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington, and in a recent Huffington Post op-ed announced his support for a measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in his home state.

This isn't Bronner's first foray into D.C. politics: in 2013 he funded a poll that found that 64 percent of D.C. residents backed the legalization of marijuana. The main proponent of the D.C. initiative, Adam Eidinger, also serves as Bronner's D.C.-based media director. Eidinger also sold Dr. Bronner's products at Capitol Hemp, his now-shuttered store that sold hemp products.

The initiative, which would require over 23,000 signatures from D.C. residents to get on the ballot, is being moved at the same time as the D.C. Council prepares to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. This week the Council approved the bill on a first vote, and Mayor Vincent Gray has said that he supports the measure.

Bronner's support of the D.C. initiative doesn't only lend it star power, but also financial heft: according to a January 31 filing with the Office of Campaign Finance, Bronner's contribution made up the majority of the $28,000 raised so far.


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