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Prop 19 Trumps Opposition in Fundraising

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #643)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Proposition 19, the California Tax and Regulate Cannabis marijuana legalization initiative, is out-fundraising the organized opposition by a margin of more than ten-to-one, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday with the Secretary of State's office. The Prop 19 campaign has brought in more than $425,000 in donations so far this year, compared to only $41,000 raised by Public Safety First, the most prominent opposition group.

Election Day is only three months away!
The Prop 19 campaign has raised more than $1.6 million in total. Its biggest contributor by far is initiative sponsor Richard Lee of Oakland, whose firm kicked in another $45,000 this last quarter, bringing its total to almost $1.5 million. But aside from Lee's funds, the campaign also took in more than $120,000 in donations this past quarter, including $5,000 each from the Berkeley Patients Group and something called the Odam LA Collective. Hundreds of people contributed smaller amounts, typically $25, $50, and $100, although a handful of people kicked in $1,000 and a few more $500, including one from a Stinson Beach resident who described his occupation as "alchemist." There were also contributions of $420, $104.20, and $4.20 (followed by one for $95.80 by the same person).

While the Prop 19 campaign has demonstrated some mass fundraising appeal, it's a different story with the opposition. Aside from one $100 individual contribution in the last quarter, every cent of Public Safety First's money has come from just four groups: the California Police Chiefs Association ($30,000), the California Peace Officers Association ($5,000), the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County ($5,000), and the California District Attorney Investigators Association ($1,000).

Neither side is well-positioned for an expensive TV advertising campaign. The Prop 19 campaign has only $62,000 on hand -- a drop in the bucket in California's massive media markets -- while Public Safety First has only $18,000. But the pro-legalization forces can also count on an additional $100,000 contributed to the Drug Policy Alliance Network, DPA's lobbying funding arm. That was kicked in by civil liberties and AIDS prevention philanthropist Philip Harvey, founder of the North-Carolina based Adam & Eve "adult accessories" online and mail order company.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


divegod (not verified)

Law Enforcement, where did the Police Chiefs Association get $ 30,000 from you think??? The Evidence Room...If all their major donations come from law enforcement what does that tell you? They make Bank on simple marijuana bust, search and seizure its easy; no real police work needed and it looks great on their resume'! If they really cared about public safety they would not be locking up typically law abiding citizens over possession of a freekin plant, and fueling drug violence in our country and Mexico fighting a war they cannot possibly win!!! The government is wasting our hard earned dollars punishing us for using a plant with medicinal powers used to ease  the suffering of millions, weather physical or otherwise! Wake up people send these A holes a message! Marijuana use in a cob pipe or a pan of brownies is your God given right which they stole from us in 1913 to deport Mexicans and lock up Black people. Do the research and Truth will set you FREE!

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 8:54pm Permalink
borden (not verified)

Someone asked here where two comments he had written (one of them on this page) had gone. Those comments are now published. The spam-fighting module that our new site has sometimes places comments whose origin it isn't sure about into an "approval queue" for our review. In this case I published those comments now when I got online.

Hopefully false positive spam IDs will become fewer and fewer over time as they program gathers more information, as we learn more about how to use it and as our programmer makes improvements to it. In the meanwhile, please accept our apologies for the delay in the posting of your comments.

If anyone's comment doesn't show up at all, please write and let us know. Our programmer is planning to build a way for us to review the comments that the program simply threw away as spam, but that doesn't exist yet. I hope there are no real comments in that pile, but we don't know yet if there might be.

- Dave

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 12:08am Permalink
divegod (not verified)

In reply to by borden (not verified)

I had to put some thought into that rant, and I was so afraid I was going to have to rethink the whole thing, for some reason it never comes out the same the second time around! Also the SAVE tab instead of POST was confusing...especially if the post doesn't show up right away!

thanks again for ironing this out


Fri, 08/06/2010 - 3:19pm Permalink
KalamazooKid (not verified)

Individual donations show the level of popular support. Poll numbers may be somewhat fudged by people unwilling or paranoid to say how they'll REALLY vote.
Sat, 08/07/2010 - 9:02pm Permalink
Vivian (not verified)

It's great that the people of CA are coming together to oppose this outdated prohibition that's based on racist and corporate interests. Finally, support for marijuana has grown to include people with money! as well as Republicans! This will be a revolutionary move if bullshit politics doesn't get in the way.

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 8:50pm Permalink

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