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Who bankrolled campaigns for, against Prop. 29?

Those wonderful folks at Berkeley-based MapLight.org have crunched numbers on who bankrolled the campaigns for and against Proposition 29, the measure on tomorrow’s ballot that would impose a $1-per-pack tobacco tax to fund cancer research. The data is as of this afternoon:

SUPPORT: $12.3 million raised in total
1. American Cancer Society – $8,467,937
2. Lance Armstrong Foundation – $1,500,000
3. American Heart Association – $563,594
4. Michael R. Bloomberg – $500,000
5. American Lung Association – $421,986
6. Voters Organized for Community Empowerment (VOICE) – $152,188
7. ACS Cancer Action Network – $80,000
8. Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund – $65,000
9. University of California, San Francisco Foundation – $50,000
10. Irwin Mark Jacobs – $30,000

OPPOSITION: $46.8 million raised in total
1. Philip Morris (Altria) – $27,531,416
2. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $11,168,698
3. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (Altria) – $3,039,818
4. American Snuff Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,750,000
5. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. (Reynolds American Inc.) – $1,148,000
6. California Republican Party – $1,140,909
7. John Middleton Co. (Altria) – $737,201
8. Core-Mark – $75,032
9. McLane Company Inc. – $50,000
10. Californians Against Unaccountable Taxes – $47,744

Breakdown by State

For Prop. 29:

Against Prop. 29:

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New pot legalization measure hits the streets

Secretary of State Debra Bowen this morning cleared proponents of a new marijuana-legalization ballot initiative to start gathering petition signatures.

Here’s the official title and summary prepared by the attorney general’s office:

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Decriminalizes marijuana sales, distribution, possession, use, cultivation, processing, and transportation by persons 21 or older. Dismisses pending court actions inconsistent with its provisions. Prohibits advertising, except medical marijuana. Prohibits zoning restrictions on marijuana cultivation and processing. Applies existing agricultural taxes and regulations to marijuana; exempts noncommercial production up to 25 flowering plants or 12 pounds processed marijuana annually. Authorizes retail sales of marijuana with one percent THC or more to persons 21 or older; if less, no age limit. Directs state and local officials to not cooperate with enforcement of federal laws inconsistent with its provisions. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: The fiscal effects of this measure could vary substantially depending on: (1) the extent to which the federal government continues to enforce federal marijuana laws and (2) the specific taxes and regulations applied to marijuana. Savings of potentially several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in net additional tax revenues related to the production and sale of marijuana products. (11-0011.)

The proponents of the “The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012” – James Gray, William McPike and Steve Kubby – have until Dec. 19 to collect valid signatures of at least 504,760 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for governor in 2010) in order to qualify the measure for the ballot.

These are familiar names. Gray, a former Orange County Superior Court presiding judge and the 2004 Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, is a longtime drug reform advocate. McPike is a Fresno attorney specializing in marijuana law. And Kubby, of Lake Arrowhead, is a longtime marijuana advocate and the 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial nominee.

But they are not affiliated with the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, the Oakland-based group that grew out of last year’s campaign for Proposition 19, another legalization measure. The coalition folks are working on an initiative of their own for 2012.

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What they’re saying about Prop. 19

Most news outlets have called Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure, a failure tonight; with 18.7 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, it has only 43 percent of the vote.

“We are waiting for those late voters, we aren’t ready to call it a night yet,” Yes on 19 spokeswoman Dale Jones said about half an hour ago.

But with things looking grim, she said, the measure’s supporters look forward to working with the coalition they built as well as the measure’s opponents to figure out the next step – another measure in 2012, almost certainly, but a turn to the Legislature even sooner than that.

Lawmakers “have definitely got the message and are ready to move the ball forward, too,” she said. “California is ready to move away from a failed policy.”

That does indeed seem to be the talking point for the Yes on 19 crowd. From co-proponent Richard Lee’s statement:

“Over the course of the last year, it has become clear that the legalization of marijuana is no longer a question of if but a question of when. Because of this campaign, millions now understand it’s time to develop an exit strategy for the failed war on marijuana. Across the state our opponents, including many newspaper editorial boards that failed to properly understand Prop. 19, repeatedly stated that their quibbles were not with legalization in general. When we come back with a new initiative in 2012, there will be a seat at the table for all of these new stakeholders. And we will be coming back, stronger than ever.”

And, from Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann:

California’s Proposition 19 may not have won a majority of votes yesterday, but it already represents an extraordinary victory for the broader movement to legalize marijuana. Its mere presence on the ballot, combined with a well run campaign, transformed public dialogue about marijuana and marijuana policy.

Prop. 19 both elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy. The media coverage, around the country and internationally, has been exceptional, both in quantity and quality. The campaign forged an unprecedented coalition of drug policy reformers, mainstream civil rights groups, organized labor, and a large contingent of outspoken retired law enforcement figures.

There’s now solid and increasing evidence that marijuana legalization is an issue that young people care about a lot – and that putting it on the ballot increases the chances that they’ll actually vote. Both major parties have no choice but to pay attention, especially when the political allegiances of young voters are very much up for grabs.

For those of us engaged in long term strategizing on marijuana law reform, the plan remains the same: to put the issue to voters in states where polls show majority support for legalizing marijuana, and to introduce similar bills in state legislatures. It’s too soon to say whether the issue will be back on the ballot in California in 2012, but at the very least we know that a bill to tax and regulate marijuana will be considered by the state legislature, just as one was earlier this year.

But Roger Salazar, spokesman for the No on 19 campaign, said a failure is a failure.

“The voters showed us tonight that they’re more interested in the details, and the details of this thing showed it wasn’t going to do the things they said it was going to do,” he said.

As for working with the Yes on 19 camp to develop a better measure for 2012, Salazar said “it didn’t seem to be a measure that had a high interest level with voters – it had a high level of interest with activists, a small number of people.”

“The burden is on the activists to prove that this is something that Californians not only are ready for, but actually are even interested in, and I think they have a long way to go given what happened tonight.”

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Last-ditch efforts for Proposition 19

The campaign for Proposition 19, California’s marijuana legalization measure, is planning a get-out-the-vote rally from 10 to noon tomorrow outside Oakland City Hall, the latest indication that supporters don’t give a hoot what the polls say.

For the polls have not been kind. A Field Poll released yesterday shows 49 percent of likely voters oppose it while 42 percent support it and 9 percent are undecided, with a 3.2 percentage point margin of error; that’s a mirror image of last month’s Field Poll, when 49 percent were in favor and 42 percent were opposed. Other recent polls including the Public Policy Institute of California and the Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California survey also showed the measure lagging far behind.

But the $1 million that billionaire financier George Soros put up last week for an eleventh-hour campaign blitz has bought a barrage of television, radio and print ads, including a three-page ad wrapping the main section of today’s Los Angeles Times.

Those scheduled to attend tomorrow’s Oakland rally include Oakland City Attorney John Russo; Prop. 19 proponent and Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee; former Wheatland police officer Nate Bradley; United Food and Commercial Workers union organizer Dan Rush; and lawyer and mom Hanna Dershowitz.

And Prop. 19 campaign advisers Chris Lehane and Dan Newman put out a lengthy memo yesterday explaining why the measure can still win despite the poll numbers. “Provocative ‘Yes’ campaigns have historically won by framing the issue with an effective closing argument,” they wrote. “On this issue a large majority of voters already agree with the final premise, because they share the perspective that the current system of prohibition is a failure.”

Read the whole Lehane/Newman memo, after the jump…
Continue Reading

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Prop. 19’s final ad blitz

A committee supporting Proposition 19, California’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative, rolled out the rest of its final pre-election media blitz today, explaining how it’ll use the rest of the $1 million that billionaire financier George Soros pumped into it earlier this week.

As reported here yesterday, some of the money went to a television ad that’ll be airing during Comedy Central’s popular “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” programs. They’re also keeping up substantial advertising on Southern California urban radio stations.

And now Drug Policy Action has placed four full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times: a three-page “wrap” of Monday’s main section and a full page ad in Sunday’s paper featuring former San Jose police chief Joe McNamara, star of the Prop. 9 campaign’s television commercial released on Monday.

“In the final days of this historic campaign, millions of Californians will be exposed in every media platform to the Yes on 19 message,” said Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Action’s California director. “We’re communicating to young voters in particular because they bear the brunt of marijuana enforcement and their turn-out is crucial to Tuesday’s outcome.”

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Prop. 19 buys ads on ‘Daily Show,’ ‘Colbert’

For those who’d wondered how advocates for Proposition 19 would spend the cool million that billionaire financier George Soros dropped on them Tuesday, just watch Comedy Central’s popular Daily Show and Colbert Report programs for the next few days.

A 30-second spot advocating for the marijuana-legalization measure will air during the hit programs’ commercial breaks:

The ads were paid for by the Drug Policy Action Committee To Tax And Regulate Marijuana – Yes On Prop. 19, which is sponsored by Drug Policy Action; Drug Policy Action is affiliated with the Drug Policy Alliance, of which Soros is a board member and prime funder.

The ads will run in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose on Thursday and Friday. They will also run in Southern California on Friday and Monday, the night before the election.

“Comedy Central’s flagship shows are the perfect outlet for Prop. 19’s reform message,” said Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Action’s California director. “Getting younger voters and progressive voters to the polls Tuesday could well make the difference for this historic initiative to end decades of failed, punitive and wasteful marijuana policies.”

Yes on 19 supporters also intend to bring the “Legalize Pot” message to Stewart and Colbert viewers when several hundred people gather at the “Rally to Restore Sanity” march Saturday in Washington, D.C. “Supporters will march in business suits – not Birkenstocks – to reinforce the message that there is no archetypal marijuana legalization supporter,” Drug Policy Action Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann said.

Meanwhile, the No on 19 campaign began airing a radio ad today in the Bay Area noting that the major-party candidates for U.S. Senate, governor and attorney general, as well as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and President Barack Obama, all oppose the measure. It’ll remain on the air through Election Day.