2 August 2016
The newspaper writes
Facing well-financed campaigns to legalize recreational pot, a national coalition that includes former Rep. Patrick Kennedy has raised more than $2 million to fight initiatives in five states this year, including a November ballot measure in California.
The money is being put up by the political arm of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group founded by Kennedy; David Frum, senior editor of the Atlantic; and Kevin Sabet, a former drug policy advisor to the Obama administration.
The opposition campaign to California’s Proposition 64 will eventually get a large amount of the money because its vote affects so many people and is likely to have the biggest influence on other states considering similar proposals, said Sabet, president of the group, SAM Action.
“If there is one thing we agree on with legalization advocates, it’s that California is important,” said Sabet, explaining why a large share of funding is going to the Golden State.
If approved by voters Nov. 8, the ballot measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes and would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.
The opponents also plan to fund battles against cannabis legalization initiatives on the November ballots in Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine, in addition to Arizona, where signatures have been turned in, according to Sabet.
The contribution to the opposition campaign in California comes after it has fallen far behind its opponents in fundraising.