In 2008, they defeated an initiative that would have emphasized treatment over jail for non-violent drug offenders. Now, the same political campaign team is organizing anew to fight against the November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California for adults over 21.
Two years ago, Sacramento political consultant Wayne Johnson directed a coalition led by law enforcement associations in a successful attempt to defeat Proposition 5. The reactionary campaign against Prop 5 labeled the measure “The Drug Dealers’ Bill of Rights,” reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee
|Political consultant Wayne Johnson doesn’t like marijuana very much. Or you, either.
Now Johnson is leading the newly formed Public Safety First campaign. The effort is backed by the California Police Chiefs Association (no big surprise there) and other law enforcement groups (ditto), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (what?) and a transportation trade group, the California Bus Association.
The “no to marijuana” campaign plans to argue that legalizing cannabis will harm California employers, endanger drivers and lead to rampant availability of pot, with the the Golden State “shipping drugs to 49 other states,” Johnson said.
He disputed legalization proponents’ argument that the measure will be a tax generator for California’s cash-starved state budget. Johnson said the initiative leaves taxation up to local governments, “the same people that issue permits for pot shops.”
Dan Newman, a spokesman for Control & Tax Cannabis, the legalization campaign, said the measure will reduce crime in California and produce much-needed tax revenues.
He said opponents are supporting a “street dealers’ and cartels’ bill of rights” by opposing legal marijuana.