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article imageCalifornia beer group in opposition to marijuana legalization

By Michael Krebs     Sep 22, 2010 in Politics
In a ballot proposition this November, California voters could decide to legalize marijuana. However, California Beer and Beverage Distributors is coming out against the measure.
This November, California voters may very well choose to legalize marijuana, in a ballot proposition that has been in discussion across the state - and across America - for years.
However, one industry group - the California Beer and Beverage Distributors - is financially opposing the initiative. The beverage group has begun spending in opposition to the legalization proposition.
The CBBD move did not sit well with all beer producers listed in the organization's membership roster.
"We regret any implied association with this action by the CBBD, and maintain our independence and neutrality regarding matters of politics," microbrew Sierra Nevada said in a statement, according to Huffington Post. "The CBBD does not represent Sierra Nevada's political interests in any way, and does not represent the brewery's stance on the issue."
Legalized marijuana has more competition than a collection of beer and beverage distributors. California is well known for their wineries, and there are numerous groups in the state - such as The Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers - that are active in the promotion and protection of California wines. Additionally, lobby groups are active in the support of the liquor and pharmaceutical industries - both of which would directly compete against legalized marijuana.
But the marijuana legalization issue is larger than competition with alternative manufacturers of mind altering and pain reducing substances. Just south of California, a very unstable Mexico is grappling with dangerous drug cartels who benefit directly from the illegal nature of many narcotics. The California measure may offer some relief to the Mexican government, particularly if the rest of the United States follows. Additionally, legalized marijuana could bring in much-needed tax revenue for California.
In the meantime, the CBBD is doing what it can to steer the options - claiming their concerns are around the verbiage of the initiative itself.
"First and foremost, we are not opposed to the legalization of marijuana," Rhonda Stevenson, a spokesman for the CBBD told Huffington Post. "We have no position on that...That's for the voters to decide. Second of all, we do not think of [marijuana] as a competitive product in the marketplace. That's not the issue. Our issue is it's a poorly written initiative."
More about Marijuana, Beer, California, Legislation, Election
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