Meet the man spending $100000 to defeat Utah's medical marijuana initiative

He once funded and co-wrote a booklet on marijuana after he saw a possible connection between low junior high graduation rates in Utah and the illicit plant. He ran a law firm with his friend, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch. He owns a pharmaceutical company that sells nutritional supplements and products marketed to women.

Meet Walter J. Plumb III, the real estate developer and philanthropist who has contributed more than $100,000 to the campaign hoping to block the medical marijuana initiative before it can reach voters on November’s ballot.

Plumb is the first of what may be other big-dollar donors to the opposition campaign of Utah’s most contentious ballot measure. He’s also a plaintiff in the lawsuit that seeks to block the state from approving the measure for the ballot. A decision is expected on that next week.

“What they [the campaign proponents] want is recreational marijuana,” Plumb told The Salt Lake Tribune during a phone interview Friday. “The right to get high.

“The forgotten group in this whole thing is kids,” Plumb added. “Junior high kids and high school kids.”

Plumb made headlines in the late 1990s when he delivered thousands of booklets about his views on marijuana use to parents along the Wasatch Front. The booklet, according to a Deseret News article at the time, was criticized for including incorrect information, which Plumb dismissed. The booklet also included a glossary of slang terms, including some that were “exclusive to blacks or Hispanics,” the newspaper wrote.

“When you’re a lay person, it’s hard to make every (word) gender-neutral and politically correct. I wasn’t interested in doing that — I wanted to tell it like I’ve seen it,” Plumb told the paper.

This time around, he personally

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