The California campaign for Prop 19 this November is searching couch cushions for loose change, but that has not stopped chatter to get marijuana-legalization initiatives on more state ballots to drive Democrats to the polls in 2012.
Contentious ballot measures
usually spawn multi-million-dollar campaigns on both sides. The Mormons out-raising marriage-equality backers is the main reason California is not handing out wedding licenses to same-sex couples right now. However, neither side on Prop 19 has raised much cash, reports the Associated Press.
“Most notably absent are big donations from the
thriving medical marijuana industry, a seemingly natural base of support
for a measure being sold as a way to raise tax revenue for the
cash-strapped state,” reads the piece by Marcus Wohlsen and Lisa Leff.
The reporters obviously have not heard the loud cries against Prop 19 by dispensers who fear pot taxes will kill their businesses and the Northern California growers who stock the dispensers' sticky shelves and like their margins as is.
Yes, the Yes on 19 campaign has out-raised the No side 10 to 1, with supporters having $2.1 million in their campaign coffers as of Tuesday, compared to just more than $210,000 collected by opponents. But, fresh from firing her illegal maid, Meg Whitman probably spent $2.1 million in the first half hour after she announced she was running for governor.
Of course, money isn't everything, especially to Democratic campaign strategists who are watching the Prop 19 campaign closely because indications are legalization lights a fire under liberal voters.
Reports the Wall Street Journal:
Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in
California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters
eager to back Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in certain
quantities and permit local governments to regulate and tax it.
Party strategists and
marijuana-legalization advocates are discussing whether to push for
similar ballot questions in 2012 in Colorado and Nevada–both expected to
be crucial to President Barack Obama's re-election–and Washington
state, which will have races for governor and seats in both houses of
Already, a coalition of
Democratic-leaning groups has conducted a poll in Colorado and
Washington to test the power of marijuana measures to drive voter
Tea partiers meet weed partiers!