Alcohol lobby funds Prop 19 opposition

Press Release from Mike Meno at MPP:

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

California Beer and Beverage Distributors Give $10K to “No On Proposition 19” Campaign in Attempt to Kill the Competition

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.

The alcohol lobby now joins the other major two funders of the anti-Prop 19 campaign: the California Police Chiefs Association ($30,000) and the California Narcotics Officer’s Association ($20,500). Yep, it’s all about financial self-interest.

It’s no surprise that the alcohol lobby would oppose marijuana legalization — they know very well that marijuana can be an excellent substitute for alcohol for many people (which could dramatically reduce the health costs related to alcohol while reducing the profits to alcohol distributors). It is a bit surprising that they apparently didn’t hide it better.

So, to recap, if you’re opposed to Prop 19, you’re on the side of the narcs, the cartels, the sheriffs, and the booze industry.

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33 Responses to Alcohol lobby funds Prop 19 opposition

  1. darkcycle says:

    “Don’t care what the world say,
    I and I gonna have things our way”
    Bob Marley
    Prop 19’s gonna pass. I wish I could vote!

  2. kaptinemo says:

    They really don’t seem to get how bad this makes them look.

    The alcohol lobby has been flushed out of hiding behind their faux-moral stances and it’s becoming ever plainer what’s of paramount importance to them: their continued revenues.

    A point which most of the public may already suspect…and a point which we can drive home with impunity, now.

  3. kaptinemo says:

    Perhaps there should be a weekly Money Bomb. I am going to use the link to contribute anyway, but the continued presence of the (no pun intended ‘grassroots’ MB would be a perfect counterpoint to the deep-pocketed Cirrhosis Promotion Society.

  4. Tim says:

    Oh, and further to the LA times funding tracker, from the article, here’s a better one from the Calif. gov. Looks like donations under $5000 are not listed.

    Here’s the current tote board:






    Oh, and this:




    REPORTING PERIOD 01/01/2010 – 06/30/2010


    TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS 1/1/2010 – 06/30/2010 $41,100.00


    TOTAL EXPENDITURES 1/1/2010 – 06/30/2010 $33,498.31

    ENDING CASH $18,881.69

  5. Loki says:

    Boycott all those companies. Do alcohol and tobacco companies still bankroll the partnership for a drug free america? I guess only their drugs are acceptable no matter how much harm they do compared to cannabis sativa.

  6. darkcycle says:

    Tim, you and the LA times. Glad to have both. And yes, the AD council (beverage, tobacco) is still funding the Foundation For Legal, Deadly Drugs Only….Er…”drug free” America. I can’t even type “drug free” without laughing.
    Prop 19: the beginning of the end for prohibition.

  7. jim jones and the kool-aid kids says:

    Incarceration Nation — Marijuana Arrests For Year 2009 Near Record High
    Posted by Paul Armentano on @ 12:52 pm
    Article printed from speakeasy:

    Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The arrest total is the second highest ever reported by the FBI, and marks a 1.3 percent increase in the number of arrests reported in 2008 (847,864).

    According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (approximately 52 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests.

    Approximately forty-six percent of all drug prosecutions nationwide are for marijuana possession.

    Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only. The remaining 99,815 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.

    Regionally, the percentage of marijuana arrests were highest in the Midwest (62 percent of all drug arrests) and southern regions (56 percent of all drug arrests) of the United States, and lowest in the west, where pot prosecutions comprised only 40 percent of total drug arrests.

    In 2007, the FBI reported 872,721 marijuana prosecutions in the United States, the highest total on record.

  8. darkcycle says:

    Wow. Obama, he’s our buddy, right? Pot’s “almost legal” right? You gotta understand, trampling the little people. Denying them educations and jobs, and the right to vote. All while rich folks tithe to the “drug court/treatment” racket to avoid that inconveinient shit. Ya gotta understand, 52% of all arrests nationwide…where they gonna find replacements for all those deliberatley disenfranchised poor and minorities? How the hell else are they going to justify continued erosion of the rights we thought were gauranteed by the constitution? And keep the for-profit prisons full? Arrrgh!

  9. Just me. says:

    Alcohol backing police hummm. so which Alcohol company do we boycott?Not that any of us are suprised by this. These groups are only conserned with keeping thier portion of the prohibition pie coming thier way.

    I feel these groups are saddly mistaking if they think re-legalization wont happen. Maybe much sooner that anyone thinks. Wait til people see that Alcohol ,Tobacco and police are teaming up to take away more of your rights.

    Drugczars: No one goes to jail for marijuana anymore, it defacto legal.

    Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009

    humm..I think their deffinition of defacto legal and real world definition is total opposite.

  10. Maria says:

    Wait, what? George Adams recycling? Well, I guess if people stop drinking so much beer then some of the aluminum can recycling bins will go broke, and since those bins are often on school and church properties, I must declare! Wont somebody think of the children! Vote No on evil cannabis! Sponsored by Boozers United!

    (I say as I drink a little plum wine.)

  11. Tim says:

    Darkcycle: glad to help. This has been going on for years, but has always been too ‘inside baseball’ to be taken seriously until the past couple of years when blogs and social media have come into their own.

  12. darkcycle says:

    Happy to say I don’t use alcohol.

  13. ezrydn says:

    Alcohol and Law Enforcement. Two peas in a pod. I watched my father drink himself to death when I was 13. I’ve never acquired a taste for the stuff. I’m no fun at a party, unless I’m out in the back yard. LOL

  14. ezrydn says:

    Our tote board beat their tote board. They had a month and we had a day. That should appear in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” in the next printing. LOL

  15. adam west says:

    now this is what i like to see.I cannot wait to see them,scream and shout.when they relize how much of an epic fail, they literally fucked themselves like the cinnanatti bengels.they just opened up their motives to everyone.clear and cut. like ozzy says (wines fine, but wiskeys quicker ,suicides quicker with liquor.) well i have a simple idea , go boycott them for being selfish.but those who oppose i’m highly sure are not gonna give up if prop 19 passes. they’re gonna do anything and EVERYTHING to get prop 19 to be overturned,they might even try to get the GOV to veto it. they will do whatever it takes to derail it,before the results come in that, surpise. surpise .the rapture hasnt happend.nobodys floating up into heaven butt ass naked.( which i must add as a side note probably would be concidered a crime. like indencet exposure,bad bad christians thats gross. but yea if they try to hard they might force another civil war. and fuck i’ll be damned ,i will join that fight a spill my own blood for the sake of whats really ,morally right in america. the right to consume what the fuck i choose . fuck man becouse of this i say WE HAVE ANOTHER FUCKING BOSTON TEA PARTY, but instead we fucking riot the booze and liqour distbutors and take their shit and get the fishies fucking drunk. oh shit it might be bad but couldnt do more damage than BP’s oil spill,shit who knows maybe it might lower the count of shark attacks. cause yah know they be swiming with S.U.I swimming under the infulence. sorry my grammur sucks ,but if anyone’s seriouslly wants to go out there with me and make shit happen hit me back i check this website literally20 times a day.i’m in florida and i wish i could vote for prop 19, though i did send in over 2,000 in donations .cause i plan on moving to cali next year with my feneince and i see that as a great job,hehhem carrer i could do.,growing hemp for useful products. also a little mj to cause its myglass of red wine. besides i have other reasons for wanting to move to cali to, but i cant move if the only thing illegal ive done was smoke some grass, with their 3 strikes ur out laws fuck people save us from those assholes. cause seriouslly their acting like assholes trying to tell us what we can and cant have and for that we need to show these assholes how to shut the fuck up by sticking our dicks in their mouths. no pun intended. peace love and respect to those that respect liberty and true freedom , the rest can go fuck themselves

  16. darkcycle says:

    Ezrydn, I’m a lotta fun at the right party. If you don’t crawl away from my circle, I’m off my game. Lately though, I go to university department parties and stupid charity auctions. I’m off in the parking lot all by my lonesome, whoofin’ and choking, wondering how the squares inside make it through one of those. Can’t go to the dorms, all the students recognize me (know what I mean Pete? Ha.). Don’t like bars. The Last Exit on Brooklyn is long gone and it was in Seattle anyway (anybody remember the ‘exit’? Single handedly re-started the coffee house scene in Seattle. Oldest and stoniest, ’till it closed).
    Lets get this shit legal, already. ‘fore we all croak of old age.

  17. unicorns and toothfairies says:

    Speak no evil: DEA, DOJ stay mum on medical marijuana raids
    By Mike Riggs – The Daily Caller | Published: 1:47 AM 09/13/2010 | Updated: 12:53 AM 09/14/10

    Despite campaign promises to the contrary, the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t stopped raiding marijuana dispensaries operating in states where sale of the drug is legal for medical purposes. But the DOJ has demonstrated one marked change now that it’s under Democratic control: The department has stopped publicizing medical marijuana raids, both by requesting that more cases be sealed under court order and by refusing to distribute press releases.

    Late last week, DEA and FBI agents raided five medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada. In July, DEA agents raided the home of 65-year-old Mendocino County, California, grower Joy Greenfield and confiscated plants, money, and her computer. Also in July, DEA agents raided the home of a couple in Michigan who were licensed by the state to use marijuana, as well as three medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego. In January and February of this year, the DEA raided two medical marijuana research labs in Colorado.

    In all of the above cases, the DEA and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices issued no press releases and held no press conferences. The websites for DEA and the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in Detroit, Denver, Northern California, and Los Angeles (which also handles cases in Nevada) make no mention of the above dispensary raids, but do feature news releases for raids, arrests, and investigations involving harder drugs, as well marijuana trafficking, which is illegal in all states.

    According to Americans for Safe Access spokesman Kris Hermes, this is one of the more notable differences at Obama’s DOJ, where Bush-appointee Michele Leonhart is now Obama’s choice to run the Drug Enforcement Agency. “There was a time under the Bush administration that [the DEA and U.S. Attorneys] were quite proud of their attempts to undermine state marijuana laws,” Hermes told The Daily Caller.

    “Either these are rogue DEA agents and U.S. Attorneys operating in violation of Holder’s memo, or the DEA and the DOJ want to be able to go about continuing a policy of undermining state marijuana laws without drawing attention.”

    Hermes suggested that the withholding of information may be a political tactic. While Pres. Barack Obama hasn’t said much about drug policy since assuming office, during his campaign, he said multiple times that he would end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. Hermes and other marijuana activists think that the president is hiding a broken promise.

    A DOJ spokeswoman denied that the department had made an official policy change regarding publicizing medical marijuana raids. “As has been the case for a long time, the [United States Attorneys’ Manual] vests authority for press decisions with the [United States Attorneys], in coordination with Main Justice,” spokeswoman Laura Sweeney told TheDC. “USAs make individual decisions on whether to issue press releases based on a number of factors.”

    But even if there hasn’t been any official change, Garrison Courtney, the head of communications for the DEA from 2005-2009, confirmed that his office regularly publicized dispensary busts. “When I was chief of public affairs, if it was a good case and a good bust, we put it out. There were some of the medical marijuana shops that had a ton of cash, a ton of weed, or a ton of guns, and we put it out. There wasn’t any policy against that.”

    And yet, in the case of the Michigan couple, guns were found, but no press release was ever issued by the DEA or the U.S. Attorney.

    Courtney added that “if you look at the DEA website, there are a lot of [Bush-era] news releases from San Francisco and Los Angeles. We were pretty aggressive in talking about the different dispensaries and the fact that they were operating in violation of federal law.”

    While Hermes faults both the DEA and U.S. Attorneys for holding back information about dispensary busts, a DEA spokesman said it is up to each regional U.S. Attorney’s office to decide when to publicize actions against a dispensary.

    “U.S. Attorneys are pretty much running the train,” said DEA spokesman Michael Sanders. “If they do a vendor raid and it warrants a press release, then they will call up to the DEA special agent in charge who will give a quote to be included in the press release. We do not put out press releases on our own.”

  18. Duncan20903 says:

    Hey, are there any legal bookies taking bets on the outcome of the vote of Prop 19? If I could get some decent odds I’d think it would be great to be able to place a bet.

  19. darkcycle says:

    Yeah. Big difference between Bush and Obama. Bush was proud of being a piece of dogshit. Obama’s sneaky about it.

  20. Don M says:

    Until now, I’ve consumed both alcohol and pot. After this however, I’m done with alcohol for good! Never again will another penny of mine go towards making those hypocrites any richer!

  21. Pingback: Big Alcohol Backs ‘No on Prop. 19′ Campaign | Herbal Bud Smoke Shop

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  24. Mack says:

    Does anyone have an actual source where Mexican cartel leaders have come out in opposition to Proposition 19? Anyone?

  25. Alwin says:

    Do not forget people who like to not go into anaphylaxis from inhaling smoke.

    I don’t see many people going around puffing on alcohol-filled hookahs.

    • Pete says:

      Actually, Alwin, I do, but I hang around a rather interesting crowd sometimes.

      Of course, people who like to not go into anaphylaxis from inhaling smoke should probably stay away from smoke. Cigarettes are legal and marijuana doesn’t need to be smoked, so I’m not sure how that argument is justification for keeping marijuana illegal.

  26. Pingback: Big Alcohol Backs ‘No on Prop. 19′ Campaign - Paul Armentano at Chelsea Green

  27. J says:

    I wish you and the other proponents of Prop 19 would stop characterizing the CBBD’s opposition as the “alcohol lobby.” The CBBD ONLY represents alcohol distributors. Most of the breweries, wineries, distillers, etc. are in favor of it, but your insistence that it’s all alcohol interests is both wrong and insulting. The distributors are voicing one narrow part of the alcohol industry, presumably because they see it as competition. The rest of the industry feels no such threat and yet you insult us all with the same broad brush. I’m for the proposition, but I’m getting seriously pissed off at the way you’re mis-characterizing what’s really going on.

  28. Pete says:


    If you’d bothered to read the current post on this blog, you would see that we’re giving full credit to the fact that the CBBD doesn’t represent all the alcohol industry now that some of you are coming out to correct the story. Your site was even linked to in comments.

    We’re happy to be corrected. You don’t have to get pissed off at us. Just let us know.

    In addition, J, it appears that us characterizing the alcohol lobby as opposing Prop 19 is doing a good thing. It’s giving the CBBD some bad press for their underhanded decision made without consulting the brands.

  29. Pingback: Big Alcohol Backs ‘No on Prop. 19′ Campaign | Marijuana Movies

  30. blueeyeddago says:

    Jesus drank wine (alcohol) he did NOT get BAKED on Marijuana or any other illicit drugs. The difference between alcohol and drugs is that one can consume 1-2 drinks and still maintain total lucidity, whereas other drugs have immediate damaging effects. Additionally Alcohol is NOT a violation of Federal law, marijuana is, so this law really will have no effect except to force enforcement to the federal authorities forcing the rest of us in the country to spend money fighting YOUR drug problem and keeping it from spilling over into OUR states. If this law passes I hope congress has the guts to cut off ALL federal dollars going into the State of California for any reason.

  31. Pete says:


    1. You’re wrong about the effects of drugs. Alcohol and other drugs all have their effects. Those effects vary from user to user as do tolerance to those effects. Some people get wasted with one drink of alcohol. Others can drink several and still think clearly. The same is true with other drugs. Is is quite possible to enjoy marijuana and still maintain total lucidity. People do it all the time. In fact, many medical marijuana patients never get “high,” since that’s not what they’re after. They’re after the relief of pain, which they are able to get while remaining clear-headed.

    Then there are those in certain fields where marijuana can actually enhance lucidity (jazz musician is the prime example).

    2. With federal marijuana prohibition still on the books, the feds will have to decide how much resources to waste going after people who are following state law. It’s to your advantage as a taxpayer to tell your representatives that you don’t want your tax dollars wasted on futile attempts to enforce an antiquated federal law against people who are legally following a state law. In fact, why wasted money on federal marijuana enforcement at all? Let the states decide and let’s learn from them whether one system works better.

    Just because a law exists at the federal level doesn’t make it a good one. Why support a law which puts the control and distribution of marijuana into the hands of criminals?

  32. David says:

    @blueeyeddago; (“Jesus drank wine (alcohol) he did NOT get BAKED on Marijuana or any other illicit drugs”)

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that marijuana was an _illicit_ drug in the 1st century AD Roman Empire – indeed, I don’t know of the Romans (or indeed Judaea before its annexation by Rome) trying to prohibit any drug. So even if Jesus personally did not smoke pot, it does not follow that he would have supported inflicting criminal penalties on those who did.

    Also, the New Testament is fairly silent on what Jesus was up to in his 20s – it’s not impossible that he did smoke pot in that time, but the gospel writers didn’t mention the fact. Neither of us has any proof either way, but if your argument is to carry water then the onus is on you to show not just that Jesus didn’t use pot himself but that he was in favour of punishing those who do.

    (Conversely, if we follow your logic to its conclusion, would the fact that Jesus’s drug of choice was alcohol justify punishing people who don’t drink? Because you can’t have it both ways – either we should be legally obliged to imitate Jesus’s life or we shouldn’t; you can’t just pick and choose – because who are you to say which aspects of Jesus’s life people should and shouldn’t be punished for failing to imitate?)

    If Christianity is supposed to be a religion that has compassion as one of its central themes, then it is very difficult to square that with an enthusiasm for punishment of private consensual behaviour that, depending on how you phrase the question, most Americans don’t even think should be a crime at all.

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