Alcohol Lobby Teams with Law Enforcement to Fund Anti-Marijuana Campaign

On September 7, a major new front opened up in the campaign for Proposition 19, the ballot measure to tax and regulate marijuana in California. On that day, the California Beer and Beverage Distributors made a $10,000 contribution to a committee opposing Proposition 19.

In response, MPP issued the following statement by Steve Fox, director of government relations for the MPP and co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?:

“Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear,” Fox said. “Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition. They know that marijuana is less addictive, less toxic and less likely to be associated with violent behavior than alcohol. So they don’t want adults to have the option of using marijuana legally instead of alcohol. Their mission is to drive people to drink.”

The alcohol industry is now working hand-in-hand with the law enforcement community to keep marijuana illegal. For example, the California Police Chiefs Association has given at least $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 19” campaign, while the California Narcotics Officers’ Association has chipped in $20,500 of its own. This partnership underscores the hypocrisy among law enforcement officials opposed to Prop. 19.

“Members of law enforcement have argued against Proposition 19 by asserting, ‘We have enough problems with alcohol, we don’t need to add another intoxicating substance to the mix,’ implying that marijuana is just as bad as alcohol,” Fox continued. “But the truth is that a legal marijuana market would not add another dangerous intoxicant to the mix; rather it would provide adults with a less harmful legal alternative to alcohol.”

“In their campaign to defeat Proposition 19, members of law enforcement and the alcohol industry have joined together under an umbrella group calling themselves ‘Public Safety First.’ Sadly, by fighting to keep marijuana illegal and steering adults toward alcohol instead, they are putting public safety last,” said Fox.

27 thoughts on “Alcohol Lobby Teams with Law Enforcement to Fund Anti-Marijuana Campaign”

  1. “Members of law enforcement have argued against Proposition 19 by asserting, ‘We have enough problems with alcohol, we don’t need to add another intoxicating substance to the mix,’ implying that marijuana is just as bad as alcohol,” Fox continued. “But the truth is that a legal marijuana market would not add another dangerous intoxicant to the mix; rather it would provide adults with a less harmful legal alternative to alcohol.”

    LOL ,I always love this line! They try to slide by the FACTthat cannabis is Already part of our society…not to mention ..history.
    We wouldnt be adding anything.
    Guess law enforcement needs a few drunks once in a while to liven their nite up. You know how a car chase in volving a drunk driver gets the adrineline going , cannabis consumers are pretty relaxed, makes for a short boring arrest.

  2. Check this out…the CA government has put up a site called “Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana” or “CALM” (pun intended I suppose). What business do they have doing that? And it looks like they just threw up some website to add to the opposing list. Just plain weird.

    http://www.calmca.org/ – at the bottom it links to the site’s owner

  3. I’m coining a new word.

    “Scumbaggery”

    def: (1.) v. “To partake in dubious and/or selfish misdeeds to the detriment of the majority”, (2.) n. “Someone as a group or individual who has their head perminatly embedded in their anal orrafice and demands the world see things from their point of view.”

    (1.) The California Beer and Beverage Distributors have perpetuated pure scumbaggery in their glass house effort to disrupt the Prop19 campaign.

  4. I am not from Cali, but I hope this article is on the cover of news papers, and anywhere else not associated with MPP so the miss informed get the right information.
    Good luck Cali, if you guys pass the rest will hopefully follow.

  5. If parents and law enforcers are so afraid for their children you would think they might think it through. Drug dealers don’t card, then you have the DEA (just criminals with badges) raiding certified medical stored, and putting seriously ill people in jail for nothing. Its completely ridiculous that they preach about helping the community 1st when instead they only care about lining their own pockets and hurting civilians that haven’t broken any just laws, people need to realize that prohibition of MJ is a total and complete failure. If you want your streets cleaner, your kids not getting life long criminal records just for possessing a plant then vote yes on prop 19. On the other hand if you like gang violence, murder, and your children losing their future then vote no.

  6. Wisconsin has more bars that serve alcohol and more bars that house prisoners than we can count. We are are talking about hemp and cannabis with truth, honesty and compassion in the districts. Industrial Hemp, Medical Marijuana and Recreational Cannabis should be addressed and become reality through a comprehensive marijuana law.

  7. $10,000 from the alcohol lobby and “California Police Chiefs Association has given at least $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 19” campaign, while the California Narcotics Officers’ Association has chipped in $20,500 of its own.”

    Now all they need is to find out how much is coming in from the biggest beneficiaries of marijuana prohibition: the drug cartels.

    Cui bono?

  8. In Wis. you can have mult. D.U.I.s before it becomes a felony.They will arrest you if you kill someone tho. One f***ed up state.

  9. What an unholy alliance this is. Law enforcement is an alcohol culture. Many of our police officers drink, and drink to excess.

  10. On the health link of that calmca.org site, there is this claim “In 2006, there were 290,563 marijuana-related emergency room visits, more than for all drugs combined.”

    It doesn’t provide a source, so there is no way to check its reliability. Just on the face of it, it seems absurd; does anyone know how they managed to create that number, or did they just make it up?

  11. I think they are scared of loosing business. The cops wont have as many people to throw in jail and prosecuted and eventually put into their system for rehab. They don’t want to loose all the money is what it all comes down to. The little bit of money they contribute only proves their insecurity with the alcohol they push. How the hell does the California Police Chiefs Association that gave ~ $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 19” campaign have that much money to “donate” when people are being raped, murdered etc…
    My mom was murdered in 95′ and is still an “unsolved Mystery” If the state of Iowa started throwing money out the window like that…I would be making a huge stink over it, that’s for sure. If Cali. thinks that is money well spent, I would like to have a personal sitdown with the decision makers who had that stroke of brilliance to spend money on such a useless cause and fire them all.

    Next they will be telling us that we can only have two kids per family.

  12. 1984 has passed forget about Big Brother. Welcome to the new millenium, where the governments, YOUR MOTHER ! ! !

  13. The “No on Prop 19″ crowd has come out and said that California would not take in any money in taxes because people would just grow there own. Do these people even live in the United States? Have they not noticed the excessive amount of fast food joints we have? Most Americans are too lazy to cook their own food. So what exactly would make these people think that Americans would grow there own marijuana?

  14. re: #16

    Not only that but it’s not as easy as it seems. anybody can plant and grow cannabis but to grow it properly take years of trial and error, bookoo bucks for an indoor set up, and if you go the outdoor route you get one crop per year.

    Much, much easier and cheaper to go to a store and buy some high octane stuff with no effort.

  15. Nice triage we have here now. Police, Alcohol industry and Drug cartels stand united against legalization. I think it paints a pretty clear picture of who interests those cops are protecting.

    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  16. San Francisco columnist Jon Carrol wrote this during Super Bowl week in 2003:

    “First we had an ad brought to us by the U.S. government’s War on Some Drugs.
    It shows a couple looking expectantly at a strip from a home pregnancy test. Apparently, the news is bad — the test is positive. The voice-over announces solemnly that they’re about to become the youngest grandparents on their block.
    We cut to a different angle and see a teenage girl sitting on a toilet and crying.
    Then the ad suggests that the girl became pregnant because she smoked pot, which no doubt loosened her inhibitions and caused her to go all the way with Jason.
    The rest of the Super Bowl brought numerous beer ads featuring young dudes partying with hot babes. The babes gyrated and sucked their lower lips. The guys grinned and slapped each other on the back. There were sexy twins in bikinis. There was revelry. And the message was: Buy our beer. You’ll have fun with our beer. You’ll get really hammered and meet twins who will leer at you seductively.
    Oh yes, gals really like guys who are puking on the sidewalk.
    Do women get pregnant because their inhibitions have been lowered by too much alcohol? Oh, never. Beer is good and fun and legal. Pot is bad and dangerous, which is why it’s illegal. Smoke pot: lots of consequences. Drink beer: no consequences.
    I have heard that beer leads to the harder stuff — wine, brandy, even vodka. But that’s probably a rumor started by people who don’t want you to have fun.
    IT IS MY personal opinion that the government should get out of the business of punishing people who use illegal drugs. I don’t mind a list of controlled substances — I don’t want crack available over the counter — but I think putting people in jail for getting high or for selling drugs is ludicrous. Let’s decriminalize it and shift our law enforcement to larger areas of need.
    If the government thinks differently, OK. But then it really has to do something about alcohol. Alcohol is probably the most dangerous recreational drug known. It harms the body — brain, liver, pancreas — more than heroin. It impedes motor reflexes more than cocaine. And as for pot — well, ask any cop whether he’d rather arrest someone stoned on pot or loaded on booze.
    Carnage on our nation’s highways, friends. Carnage in our nation’s families.
    Do you know someone whose family was broken up by alcoholism? Do you know someone who was beaten by her father when he got liquored up? OK, same question about pot. There are certainly people who mess up their lives by smoking too much pot, but mostly they eat Cheetos and watch “American Idol.”
    AND AS FOR families — you want heartbreak, look at the families who have fathers or brothers or daughters in prison for drug-related offenses. The drugs didn’t destroy those families, the government did — the same government that finds a useful distinction between alcohol and marijuana.
    The Super Bowl ads cost between $2 million and $2.2 million for 30 seconds of airtime. The government ran two spots. Say $4 million. The city of Oakland is threatening to close the majority of its libraries because of budget shortages. Would $4 million help that problem? Oh my yes.
    The hidden costs of the War on Some Drugs are staggering. Take all the money spent on law enforcement, all the money spent on advertisements, all the salaries and expenses for all the drug czars — all those bucks going to fight a hypocritical war that will never be won. Maybe it’s not satire after all. Maybe it’s tragedy”.

  17. With decriminalization of pot, the police will have to go after the genuine bad guys and the alcohol pushers will have to live with a few less drunks.

  18. It might be good to research which alcoholic beverage makers are culprit. I am well aware of Budweiser being a long time enemy of pot. I have for some time felt that pot-smokers who complacently support this particular brand deserve to get busted but do I deserve to get busted for supporting the likes of Mendocino or Stone? I hope not but I don’t know. A good quality beer goes quite nicely with good quality herb. If the micro-brew industry for example is amongst our enemies maybe we need to start presenting this point to them instead of harping on reefer being an alternative. We all know that pot is safer than alcohol but what we should convey is that prohibition doesn’t benefit anyone non matter what form it takes. We should see what we can do to get this powerful lobby onto our side.

  19. I have just sent an email to Frito Lay and it reads-

    Before you disregard this email as a joke I want to reinerate to you this is totally serious. The Alchol industry just donated $10,000 dollars to the opposition of the Prop 19 amendament in California over the legalization of Marijuana. My question to you is if the Alchol industry can donate $10,000 dollars to make sure they dont have problems with there current customers then why cant we get an amwesome company to donate $10,000 dollars to increase there buisness? I am 1000% for Frito Lay to donate money for the YES vote on Prop 19 in Cal. I believe you would get the most positive feedback from the american people on top of that it would show the alchol industry that 2 can play at that game. Please consider increasing your buisness with a donation on $10,000 to the yes for prop 19 ty for your time.

  20. California Beer and Beverage Distributors have made a number of interesting contributions lately:

    http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1022037&session=2009&view=expenditures

    Note in particuluar that there appears to be about $45,000 in contributions to Jerry Brown, former marijuana user now fighting against Proposition 19. MPP, do you have someone with the time to dig around at the CA Secretary of State site and see which politicians are getting money from Big Alcohol, what those eleceted officials are saying about Prop 19, put a few stories into the press, and maybe shine a little light into this sewer?

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