The alcohol and pharmaceutical industries are largely bankrolling the pushback against marijuana legalization, the Intercept reports. In Arizona, it was revealed last week that Insys Therapeutics Inc., a company that makes opioids and is developing synthetic cannabinoids, donated $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, an anti-legalization organization. And the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association also gave $10,000 to the group.
The Intercept also points to other states where the alcohol industry has actively opposed legalization. One major contributor to anti-legalization efforts has been the Massachusetts-based Beer Distributors PAC, which contributed $25,000 to Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, an anti-legalization group.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has also revealed that major alcohol companies have informed their investors that marijuana de-criminalization is a “threat” to the industry.
Paul Varga, chief executive of the Brown-Forman Company, which makes Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Finlandia Vodka, told investors that he wasn’t “losing sleep over the legalization of marijuana. But I’m paying attention to it.”