Sacramento Bee: Marijuana legalization foes report $1.3 million in contributions – from one donor

BY CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO - An outside committee opposing California’s fall marijuana legalization measure is reporting nearly $1.3 million in contributions, all from the same donor.

The money comes from Julie Schauer, a retiree whose trust is in Oaks, Pa. A committee representative said she strongly opposes marijuana use. The donations began flowing to the committee in April and continued into late July, state records show, but were not disclosed until later, with the latest filing coming Thursday.

Kevin Sabet, of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, said Friday that he’s still not sure all the money will find its way to the No on Proposition 64 side. He noted that the cash infusion amounted a “drop in the bucket” compared with the more than $6 million raised by legalization supporters.

Still, the group wants to send messages about the dangers of marijuana advertising and sweet edible pot treats that could tempt children.

“We are very concerned about bringing back the reincarnation of ‘Big Tobacco,’ ” Sabet said.

California polls have shown majority support for legitimizing marijuana, but critics are broadening their attacks on provisions of Proposition 64. The money flowing behind the “no” campaign would allow them to significantly expand their message.

Prior to the latest report, the opposition had reported raising just $254,000. Reports show Schauer had previously given about $64,000 to the “no” side.

The legalization measure would allow adults 21 years and older to possess, use and share as much as an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six plants.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Proposition 64’s highest-ranking supporter, has said it contains advertising and marketing safeguards to keep pot away from children. He has cast the campaign as one of social justice, arguing that too many people of color are drawn into the criminal justice system over drug charges. He’s also repeatedly warned about an organized opposition campaign backed by deep-pocketed, out-of-state donors.

“There’s a prospect of an organized effort to defeat this,” Newsom said this summer. “And if it is defeated it will set back this movement in California for years and years. And, I would argue, set back the movement for regulating … marijuana … across this country for year and years.”


Donate >