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posted by martyb on Sunday September 18 2016, @07:16PM   Printer-friendly
from the buzzkill dept.

Alcohol and painkiller manufacturers, terrified that they might lose market share, are major players in the fight against pot-legalizations ballot initiatives.

The fight against legalized pot is being heavily bankrolled by alcohol and pharmaceutical companies, terrified that they might lose market share.

On the heels of a filing last week that revealed that a synthetic cannabis company is financing the opposition to legal marijuana in Arizona comes a new disclosure this week that a beer industry group made one of the largest donations to an organization set up to defeat legalization in Massachusetts.

The Beer Distributors PAC, an affiliate that represents 16 beer-distribution companies in Massachusetts, gave $25,000 to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, tying it for third place among the largest contributors to the anti-pot organization.

William A. Kelley, the president of the Beer Distributors of Massachusetts, did not respond to a request for comment, but his organization's decision to oppose legalization is hardly unique in the alcohol industry.

In Arizona, one of the five states with marijuana legalization ballot measures this November, the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association donated $10,000 to a group opposing legalization. In 2010, the last time California considered marijuana legalization, another alcoholic beverage distribution group provided financing to a law enforcement-backed campaign to defeat legalization.


[Update: The article in The Intercept had two 'links' that lacked any actual URL. An alternative was found for the link to William A. Kelley and replaced. Could not find a link to corroborate the $10,000 donation in Arizona — that link was removed. -Ed.]

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2016, @08:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2016, @08:52PM (#403509)

    Instead of using their existing business knowledge, current profits, and distribution network to out maneuver any pot startups thus leading them to a bigger market share of an increasing market, they try to prevent the market from even existing.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2016, @09:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18 2016, @09:22PM (#403517)

    In TN they took your approach. They finally, just this year, made it legal for grocery stores to sell wine and spirits. Seems pretty obvious that the threat of legal MJ breathing down their necks is what finally motivated the industry to get their pet legislators to loosen the monopoly on alcohol distribution.