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Where's the Money? Marijuana Initiative Not Funded by Construction or Tourism Industries
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07 July 2016  

Who is funding the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol? It’s not tourism, that’s for sure. And the construction/contractor industry wants no part of it. 

When signatures were filed during the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act last week, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) Chairman J.P. Holyoak claimed, "It is a broad coalition of contributors. We’ve actually seen quite a bit [of support] from the construction industry, that will then be providing services; the contractors and those types of trades;  as well as the agricultural industry, that is providing support to us; and then we look at the tourism..." (video)

Not so fast. Today, the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) issued a press release announcing the support of both the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) and the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AZAGC).

The Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors President, Dave Martin cited the dangers and liabilities the initiative would bring if it were to pass, "In filing their signatures to send this initiative to the ballot, the pro-marijuana lobbyists claimed that they had financial support from many of Arizona’s builders and contractors for the legalization of recreational marijuana. As one of the trade associations that represents a considerable part of this industry, we take major umbrage with that statement."

"The AZAGC continues to oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana as the passage of this initiative would make the workplace unsafe for the general contractors and subcontractors we represent. This proposed initiative would replace Arizona’s current drug-free workplace laws to allow employees to participate in marijuana usage when they are off-the-clock. The amount of hazard and danger this would bring to our workplace is completely unacceptable," Martin continued.

The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association President and CEO Kim Sabow issued a statement of opposition to the proposal of legalizing recreational marijuana.

"Our Association has taken a stand against the prospects of recreational marijuana legalization in Arizona. The claim that Arizona’s tourism industry supports legalization for its own economic gain, as stated recently by pro-marijuana legalization lobbyists, is entirely false."

"We remain in unequivocal opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana because of the proven dangers that the passage of this initiative would bring to Arizona’s families and business - both vital components to a healthy tourism industry."

Getting an initiative passed is an expensive proposition. It costs money to collect signatures and then pay for advertising and other methods of getting the message out. So, where is the money coming from to support the campaign for the legalization of marijuana?

The majority of the individual donations has come from one attorney, Steve White, who has donated $54,999 as of May 31. The next highest contributor is Elizabeth Stavola from New Jersey, who has contributed $6000. Following Stavola is Steven Trenk, the Managing member of the Budding Enterprise Fund, with $5600.

Business contributions, as of May 31, 2016 have come largely from these sources. Most of these do not appear to be contractors or in the construction industry. Neither do they appear to be in the tourism industry. Websites are linked where possible:

Marijuana Policy Project (Washington, DC) $609,694

Marijuana Policy Project Foundation (listed at the same address) $231,149

Advanced Nutrients (Washington) $51,996

The Giving Tree (Arizona) $50,000

Urban Greenhouse (Arizona) $85,000

Leaf Life (Arizona) $26,000

Arizona Grassroots Dispensary (Scottsdale, Arizona) $135,000

Arizona Compassionate Care (Arizona) $50,000

Green Sky Patient Center of Scottsdale North (Arizona) $55,000

High Mountain Health (Arizona) $70,000

Sixth Street Enterprises (Arizona) $80,000

Green Desert Patient Center of Peoria (Arizona) $30,000

Mohave Green (Arizona) $40,000

Monarch (Arizona) $97,500

RCH Wellness (Arizona) $13,000

The Holistic Center(Arizona) $80,000

Bloom Master Fund (Arizona) $70,000

Reef Dispensaries (Arizona) $$16,000

Organica Patient Group (Chino Valley, Arizona) $5,000 

Phoenix Relief Center $1000

Cornucopia Health and Wellness (Arizona) $1,200

OPV Distributions (Arizona) $7000

Hydroponics Solutions (Arizona) $50,000

Green Scene Marketing (Arizona) $1000

Swell Management Systems (Arizona) $27,500

Dream Steam (Arizona) $3500

FLRish, Inc. (California) $500

Green Halo (Arizona) $500

Prime Leaf (Arizona) $2000

Radiant Star (Arizona) $5000

420 Science (Texas) $1000

Premiere Southwest Insurance Group (Arizona) $1500

Canna Advisors (Colorado) $1000

Gravitron Labs (Texas) $1000

Growers House (Arizona) $3000

Arizona Natural Selections (Arizona) $25,000

Tradiv (California) $1000

Harvest of Tempe (Arizona) $21,600

AZWM (Arizona) $10,000

AOW Management (Arizona) $5000

All of their political committee contributions came from the Arizonans for Responsible Legalization $83,366

Their cash balance at the end of May? A hefty $1,171,298.88, so expect to hear much more from this campaign leading up to November. 

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/eNewsAZ/