Pot Legalization Advocates Have Cash; Opponents Don’t


Graphic: Tax Cannabis 2010

​The pro-pot forces have money for California’s upcoming legalization battle, while the anti-weed contingent has little good news to report.

The November ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana for adult personal use in the Golden State got more than $200,000 in campaign contributions between January 1 and March 31, according to newly published electronic finance records.

Meanwhile, all the groups opposing legalization — like the Committee Against the Legalization of Marijuana — didn’t electronically file their contributions by the April 15 deadline, meaning they raised less than $50,000, the minimum amount that requires mandatory e-filing.

This could be good news for reformers, reports David Downs at East Bay Express.

Photo: Chuck Conder/CNN
Oaksterdam’s Richard Lee: “This is a historic first step toward ending cannabis prohibition”

Tax Cannabis 2010 raised $212,647.88 from several dozen donors, with large contributions coming from Oaksterdam University and other marijuana-related businesses owned by or associated with legalization campaign organizer Richard Lee.
The campaign spent $184,668 on expenses like radio airtime for commercials, according to the records. Tax Cannabis 2010 had $55,576 in cash at the end of the reporting period.
Lee has been quoted as saying the campaign will need a war chest between $10 million and $20 million to win in November. Banking more than $200,000 while opponents report nothing is an early positive sign for the momentum of the campaign, but success will depend on a steady stream of contributions from now until November.
Reporter Downs speculates that the shaky economy, which makes gathering political contributions especially challenging work, has “forced by opposition groups and pot’s natural friends like the Drug Policy Alliance to the sidelines this year — yielding the field to Lee’s Tax Cannabis 2010.”