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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg And Wife, Priscilla Chan, Give $500,000 To Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Anthony Quintano
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The couple’s nonprofit says one of its major goals is to refocus the criminal justice system on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is behind a new source of big money for the Oregon initiative to decriminalize illegal drug use and provide more money for drug treatment.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave $500,000 to the campaign for the measure. The money comes from their nonprofit, a new disclosure report shows.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiativesays one of its major goals is to revamp a criminal justice system it says is based more on punishment than rehabilitation.

Measure 110 has been largely backed financially by the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, which has been active in many marijuana legalization efforts around the country. The group and its political arm have so far donated more than $3.4 million to the effort to qualify the measure for the ballot and to promote it.

The measure also shifts millions of dollars in cannabis tax revenue to drug treatment. Possession of illegal drugs ranging from heroin to cocaine would be subject to a non-criminal fine of $100. That fine would be waived for those who get assessed for treatment.

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Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.