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Marijuana Legalization initiative had only $62,000 in cash on hand at end of June, according to new report

August 2, 2010

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August 2, 2010 |  2:16 pm

The campaign to pass Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, had just $62,000 in cash to spend at the end of June, according to a campaign finance report filed today, an amount far short of what would be needed to run a significant television campaign.

Opponents of the measure had less than $19,000 in cash at the end of June.

There are still weeks to go before the battle is expected to heat up, and fundraising for initiatives sometimes picks up much closer to the election. The initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to 25 square feet. It would also allow cities and counties to authorize the cultivation, sale and taxation of marijuana.

Yes on Proposition 19, also called Tax Cannabis 2010, raised $176,430 in mostly small contributions in the three months ending in June. It has raised $426,689 this year and $1.2 million last year.

The biggest contributor remains the initiative’s sponsor, Richard Lee, whose firm put $45,000 more into the effort, bringing the total to almost $1.5 million. Lee owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland,  Oaksterdam University, a trade school for marijuana growers and businessmen, and a number of other marijuana-related businesses.

Public Safety First, which is running an opposition campaign, collected checks from four law enforcement organizations, including $30,000 from the California Police Chiefs Assn.

A second pro-marijuana legalization group associated with the Drug Policy Alliance raised $100,000 from Philip D. Harvey, who started Adam & Eve, a North Carolina-based mail-order and online distributor of sexual toys and pornography. He also founded an international charitable organization that distributes birth control in impoverished nations.  

— John Hoeffel

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