With the Adult Use of Marijuana Act poised to go on California’s ballot in November, marijuana advocates have started looking into who is bankrolling the opposition. According to a report published on May 18, 2016, by The Intercept, approximately half of the money raised to defeat AUMA has come from law enforcement and prison guard organizations.
Spearheading the effort is John Lovell and his organization Coalition for Responsible Drug Policies. Working in Sacramento, Lovell has served as a lobbyist for both police chiefs and prison guard supervisors. So far, Lovell’s organization has raised $60,000 to help defeat AUMA.
Lee Fang of The Intercept reported, “The funds came from groups representing law enforcement, including the California Police Chiefs Association, the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association, the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s Issues PAC, and the California Correctional Supervisor’s Organization.”
Additional donations came from the California Teamsters Union and the anti-marijuana group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Despite their combined efforts, it may not be enough to defeat California’s legalization ballot measure. Supporters of the measure have already raised $2.5 million for the legalization campaign and approximately 60 percent of likely California voters support the measure.