Pubdate: Sat, 09 Jul 2016
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Orange County Register
Author: Brooke Edwards Staggs


With four months to go before the election, an initiative campaign to 
legalize marijuana for adults in California has a $5.5 million war chest.

Promoters of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, got a $2 
million boost in donations this week from two key financial backers.

Sean Parker, who co-founded Napster and was Facebook's first 
president, gave an additional $1.25 million, bringing his total 
contributions to $2.25 million.

The New Approach PAC, which is a legacy of Progressive insurance 
mogul and legalization activist Peter Lewis, gave an additional 
$750,000. The PAC has now contributed $1.5 million.

If approved by voters, the proposition will allow Californians 21 and 
older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, up to 8 grams of 
concentrated cannabis and up to six plants.

Other backers of the initiative include Irvine-based Weedmaps; Drug 
Policy Action, the advocacy arm of Drug Policy Alliance, which aims 
to end the war on drugs; Nicholas Pritzker, a Hyatt Hotel heir and 
billionaire investor; and a handful of smaller donors.

Lynne Lyman, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said she 
expects the pro-Proposition 64 campaign will raise $10 million to $20 
million by the Nov. 8 election.

An opposition campaign also continues to raise funds.

The Coalition for Responsible Drug Policies, sponsored by the Public 
Safety Institute, has now raised $131,000 to defeat Prop. 64.

Most recently, the California State Sheriffs' Association gave 
$10,000. Other opponents include the Teamsters, a state hospital 
association, multiple law enforcement groups and the nonprofit arm of 
an anti-legalization group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Some 60 percent of likely voters support legalization, according to a 
recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. 
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-South Los Angeles, and Assembly 
Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, were among those who 
declared their support for the proposition in the past week.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom