While the majority of Californians hope to legalize marijuana through this year’s election, one opposition group is raising funds to deliver a sobering defeat.
Fundraisers for the California Public Safety Institute have collected $15,000 from various law enforcement groups throughout the state, the OC Register reports.
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs has donated $5,000 to defeat the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, California’s leading initiative for cannabis legalization. The California Correctional Supervisors Organization labor group and the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association also gave $5,000 each.
“We just don’t think it would be a good thing to legalize marijuana for recreational use,” said George Hofstetter, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, to the Register.
Monetary support for prohibition has only begun to build momentum, while the Adult Use of Marijuana Act has already raised over $2 million largely due to the support of billionaire venture capitalist Sean Parker, who has donated $1 million towards marijuana legalization.
“I fully expect the other side to outspend us, but we will have enough money for a campaign, and I think we will be successful,” said John Lovell, a lobbyist with the opposing California Public Safety Institute.
While many police and correctional facility groups tend to oppose legalization so that they might continue to profit from marijuana-related arrests, the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has over 160,000 members from various law enforcement agencies who actually support California’s legalization efforts.