An ambitious state measure to legalize and tax marijuana has amassed $242,591 since it was was filed last month by former US Attorney John McKay and other influential political leaders, according to records held by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. I-502, as it's been numbered by the state, would go before the legislature in January and before voters in November 2012 if it qualifies for the ballot.

The leading donors, each giving $50,000, are the American Civil Liberties of Washington Union and Drug Policy Action. The latter is a political action committee of George Soros's advocacy think tank Drug Policy Alliance based in New York. Arnold and Judith Bendich, a Seattle couple, have given another combined $50,000.

As for spending so far, New Approach Washington, the official name of the sponsoring organization, is directing most of its cash to paying for signature gathering, sending $50,000 to California-based PCI Consultants.

Just over $200,000 are cash contributions while the rest are largely in-kind staffing contributions and polling from the ACLU of Washington.