While working on our story about the beer distributors giving money to an anti-Prop 19 group, I sent out requests for quotes to several organizations and individuals. One of the organizations I contacted was The California Police Chiefs Association, who gave the same group some $30,000.
I asked The CPCA their reaction to the beer distributors giving $10,000 to the same organization, and here is the response from Leslie McGill, Executive director of the association:
This is a public safety issue.
California leaders, transportation companies, businesses, local governments and law enforcement from throughout CA are opposing this poorly written initiative because it sets no regulations, no state oversight and does not collect one dime in state tax revenue.
Alcohol is regulated statewide by the ABC, whereas Prop 19 would leave it up to an unmanageable patchwork of 536 different jurisdictional entities to try and “regulate” and “control” marijuana.
The state has set standards on what constitutes DUI of alcohol but this measure omits any definition of what constitutes DUI of marijuana.
You might also consider that the Beer and Beverage distributors own and operate large vehicle fleets that are based, licensed and travel across the state. As such, I’m sure they feel a great responsibility to ensure their workers and drivers are safe.
I would think they would no more support allowing their drivers to drink beer before getting behind the wheel of their trucks or vans, than they would support them smoking marijuana before getting behind the same wheel.
Let’s be serious for a moment. If the beer companies were worried about public safety they wouldn’t sell a product that leads to so much death, misery, and violence. Cannabis is safer in every way than alcohol, including on the roadways.
As far as regulations, I agree that set criteria need to be established when it comes to what constitutes a DUI, for the safety of everyone, including the accused. And a state tax will come shortly after Prop 19’s passage; any casual observer of governments in action knows that.
And finally, let’s dismiss this notion that beer companies oppose Prop 19 because “it sets no regulations, no state oversight and does not collect one dime in state tax revenue.” They could care less; they want to protect their intoxicated and dying customers from the safer alternative of marijuana.
People die everyday from alcohol. Those aligned with the beer companies must take some responsibility for that.