Thursday, April 8, 2010

Toking Toward Freedom: Following the Money on Legalization

By David Downs
Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 8:00 AM

It's poetic: pot users are paying for their own freedom fight, one eighth of Bubba Kush at a time. Look at the latest campaign finance numbers from Sacramento on the Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative:

Tax Cannabis 2010 has contributed $1,326,400.74 to its own campaign, sponsored by S.K. Seymour LLC, a medical cannabis provider, and Oaksterdam University, a cannabis educator. Both are operated by Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee. Legalization, in other words, has basically been a one-man show. No other group had contributed anything through the end of the last reporting period January 31, 2010.

Since then, four other groups have shown up on the FPPC site as potential players in the legalization fight: Credo Victory Fund — Yes We Cannabis; Committee Against the Legalization of Marijuana; the Drug Policy Alliance Network Committee to Tax and Regulate Marijuana; and lastly, the sexily named Opposition to the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative.

All these groups must file their contributions for and against the campaign again by April 30 for the period covering the first quarter of 2010: Jan. 1 through March 31.

Tax Cannabis 2010 has said it needs maybe $10 million to $20 million more in contributions to bring in a win November 2. We'll either see the beginnings of that come end of April, or we won't.

[Got another barometer for the influence of money in the election besides the FPPC? Share it with Legalization Nation in comments or via email. Subscribe to us via RSS and get the news in your inbox every week.]

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