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.