Pubdate: Thu, 16 Sep 2010
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Record Searchlight
Author: David Benda


The folks who deliver beer and other beverages to liquor stores have 
joined the fight against legalizing marijuana in California.

On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors gave $10,000 
to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change 
state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.

The California Police Chiefs Association has given the most to the 
Proposition 19 opposition with a contribution of $30,000, according 
to Cal-Access, a website operated by the secretary of state's office.

Rhonda Stevenson, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors 
political action committee's coordinator, was out of the office on Wednesday.

Nobody else from the group was available to comment.

"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," Steve Fox, director of 
government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in 
statement. "Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill 
the competition. Their mission is to drive people to drink."

North state beer and beverage distributors reached for comment on 
Wednesday were not aware of the $10,000 contribution made by their 
trade group. Nor did they have an opinion on Proposition 19 or how 
its passage would affect the liquor industry.

"We pay a small yearly membership, so we are a member; but we don't 
really have a say or input on anything like that," Mt. Shasta 
Bottling & Distributing General Manger Emerson Bryan said.

David Jensen, president of Redding Distributing Co., said his 
business had not been solicited for funds by the California Beer & 
Beverage Distributors to help fight Proposition 19.

"That might have come out of their PAC (political action committee)," 
Jensen said of the $10,000 contribution.

Area liquor stores reached Wednesday also said they had not heard 
about the beverage group's effort to defeat Proposition 19.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart