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Anti-Cannabis Coalition Seeks to Destroy Recreational Bill

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Supporters of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) now face a new obstacle. The California Public Safety Institute collected $15,000 to create a committee aimed at destroying the AUMA. It’s the same committee that helped defeat the failed Proposition 19 in 2010.

The California Public Safety Institute has formed a coalition of concerned faith groups, unions and law enforcement agencies. Californians support cannabis more now than ever before—The approval rating for recreational cannabis in California is higher than the approval rating for Governor  Jerry Brown.

“We just don’t think it would be a good thing to legalize marijuana for recreational use,” warned George Hofstetter, President of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. Hofstetter’s $5,000 donation was matched by The California Correctional Supervisors Organization and the Riverside Sheriff’s Association. The opposition cited that AUMA looks more like a business model than a public health safety model.

The $15,000 collection is hardly pocket change, but seems minor compared to Sean Parker’s seven-digit donation to AUMA last month. The opposition, however, remains optimistic. “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 Public Safety Institute Lobbyist. Lovell led the crusade against Proposition 19, which after accumulating some support from cannabis growers, was voted down by 53.5 percent in 2010.

Cannabis proponents have outspent the opposition—supporters have raised a total of $2.25 million dollars so far—with about half coming from Sean Parker. They have also acquired 25 percent of the signatures needed to get on this year’s ballot. AUMA supporters have until April 26 to collect at least 365,880 signatures to qualify for the ballot on November 8.

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