While it should be a no-brainer that the cannabis industry would contribute money to campaigns aimed at legalizing marijuana, a new survey finds that a whopping majority of the companies involved in the business of selling weed have absolutely no intention of spending a single dollar this election season to help advance the issue of pot reform.
A recent poll conducted by Marijuana Business Daily found that almost 37 percent of the executives in charge of cannabis companies are “not sure” whether they will donate money in 2016 to ensure the success of legal weed. Another near 20 percent of the respondents went against the grain of the cause even more by suggesting that they have no plans whatsoever to lend any monetary support throughout the next few months to help further the objective of legalization.
Meanwhile, marijuana’s opposing forces are not having any trouble raising money to combat campaigns aimed at legalization. A recent report from the Los Angeles Times revealed that former Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy and his cronies at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) are preparing to dump $2 million into the fight to maintain the prohibitionary standard in states where pot legalization is slated for the ballot this November.
Interestingly, it appears the only states not struggling to raise the funds necessary to run strong marijuana legalization campaigns are those where people with money brought the initiatives to the table in the first place.
In Florida, where United for Care is slated to put the issue of medical marijuana back in front of the voters this fall, reports show that donations in support of the group’s Amendment 2 have surpassed the “No on 2” campaign by a margin of 700 to one. But the United for Care camp likely would not have come this far had it not been for the millions of dollars it has received from its fearless leader, attorney John Morgan.
Last year, Morgan contributed $2 million to get Amendment 2’s second coming up and running, matching donations, at one point, to the tune of 9-to-1 to advance it to the next level.
In California, the scene is not much different. The ballot measure slated to go before the voters in November was designed under the guidance of billionaire entrepreneur Sean Parker, who alone has contributed $2.5 million to legalize a recreational cannabis market in 2016.
That’s not to say that the cannabis industry has completely turned its back on legalization efforts. Nearly 27 percent of the executives polled in the latest survey said they have already donated money to help statewide ballot initiatives. Another 17 percent said that while they have not yet given any funds to the cause, they plan to do so in the coming months.
But the biggest boost to marijuana legalization efforts seems to be coming from the cannabis investment community. The poll found that 30 percent of those folks have already made campaign donations, while another 20 percent still intend to pitch in. This group is predicted to contribute three times more than what the business sector has already put in.
“That means legalization campaigns could get a much-needed boost heading into the elections,” wrote author Eli McVey in his analysis of the survey.