NEVADA: Alcohol wholesalers play a crucial role in providing the Las Vegas economy with an important lubricant — and they have the political clout to match.
Now, many of those same companies are angling for a piece of what could be Nevada’s next big vice — recreational marijuana.
The 2016 ballot will feature a measure that would fully legalize marijuana. If passed, Nevada would join Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon in allowing recreational pot.
In Nevada, liquor distributors have given a combined $87,500 to a campaign to pass the measure, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
CALIFORNIA: A popular marijuana dispensary mapping website has contributed $1 million to a campaign committee for a possible November 2016 pot legalization ballot measure.
What that measure will be remains unclear. Earlier this week, marijuana proponents filed two proposed measures to qualify for next year’s fall ballot, with possibly more to come.
The more substantive of the two, the “California Craft Cannabis Act,” was submitted by “cannabis freedom lawyers” Omar Figueroa and Heather L. Burke.
ARIZONA: The chances of a successful marijuana-legalization initiative in Arizona for 2016 appear to have diminished due to fighting among two competing political groups.
As we reported on March 27, the Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona was surprised by the sudden launch of a competing 2016 campaign by their chairperson, Dr. Gina Berman.
A leaked online survey shows that a coalition of Arizona medical-marijuana dispensaries are backing Berman’s group.
CALIFORNIA: A new online video could shape the early debate over legalizing pot in California, but some supporters fear it could backfire.
“This is an initiative to bring back hash bars all over California, all over the beaches and then beyond,” a man in the video said. “This is an initiative to help fund education and social services and to get all of the prisoners out of jail. Get them the (bleep) out of jail, that’s first on the list right there.”
It may not be the image that marijuana backers want for a 2016 ballot initiative, but it’s the first out of the gate.
“This video had its own target market, which is cannabis consumers. If we offended anyone, sorry. There is nothing in it that I can say is inaccurate,” said Michael Jolson of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative.