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David Bronner, president and CEO of Escondido-based Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a prosperous maker of organic cleaning products, is anteing up $50,000 for a marijuana legalization campaign in the state of Colorado, according to news reports from Denver.

An account on the website of CBS 4 News says:

"Bronner says he wants to see pot legalized because his company imports 20 tons of hemp-seed oil each year from Canada. Hemp cannot be grown legally in this country, and Bronner says legalization could save his company money."

Bronner's website adds:

"Because of its huge market potential and high biomass/cellulose content, hemp is an ideal future crop for producing bio-ethanol and bio-plastics,"

Bronner gave $75,000 to California's failed marijuana legalization bid two years ago, the TV report notes.

According to records posted online by the California Secretary of State's office, Bronner's soap company gave $250,000 this February 28 to an initiative campaign for a measure that would require so-called genetically engineered food to be labeled as such.

The measure qualifed for the ballot last month and the election battle this November is expected to trigger an outpouring of funds from the bio-tech industry, which has a wealthy donor base in La Jolla and elsewhere that rejects DNA regulation as a threat to its economic freedom.

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