Capitol Alert

California pot legalization proponents file complaint over surge of out-of-state money

5 things you need to know about the California marijuana proposition

California was the first state to allow medical marijuana. Now, two decades later, voters are expected to be asked whether to legalize recreational use of the drug. The legalization measure headed for the statewide November ballot is the product o
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California was the first state to allow medical marijuana. Now, two decades later, voters are expected to be asked whether to legalize recreational use of the drug. The legalization measure headed for the statewide November ballot is the product o

California supporters of the statewide measure to legalize marijuana filed a complaint late Friday with the state’s political ethics watchdog alleging that an outside committee opposing Proposition 64 filed campaign finance reports months after the deadline.

The complaint by proponent Diane Goldstein to the Fair Political Practices Commission charges Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action with filing a late statement of organization, among other possible violations.

Goldstein, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said the committee also misreported donations and failed to file late contribution reports. She said a major donor report for Julie Schauer, an anti-marijuana activist with a Pennsylvania-based trust who has given more than $1.3 million to the opposition, was incomplete.

“Not surprisingly, the out-of-state anti-marijuana forces are as sloppy about following the law as they are about checking their facts,” Proposition 64 spokesman Jason Kinney said in a statement. “It’s one thing to have 88 percent of the entire “no” campaign’s money come from one out-of-state donor. It’s another to completely disregard California law and fail to properly report and disclose those contributions in a timely fashion.”

Kevin Sabet, of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which works to oppose legalization efforts across the country, said he couldn’t comment on the complaint because he had yet to receive a copy. Earlier Friday, Sabet said he wasn’t sure all the money raised by the committee would go to No on Proposition 64.

Sabet also noted that the large cash infusion was a “drop in the bucket” compared with the more than $6 million raised by legalization supporters in California.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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