Over the last few years, marijuana legalization has become much more controversial. It seems as though everyone has taken a position, whether it is to legalize, or keep the drug illegal. It is evident, though, that more and more people are becoming accepting of the drug. In fact, more than fifty percent of the United States population supports some type of cannabis legalization. That doesn’t mean that everyone is supporting the drug; there is still strong opposition against the legalization of marijuana. Here are some of the biggest anti-marijuana lobbies in the country:
Given medical marijuana’s position as a cheaper, safer alternative to pharmaceutical products, pharmaceutical companies stand to lose a significant chunk of market share if marijuana legalization were to pass. BigPhRMA is universally recognized as marijuana’s biggest financial competitor, with drug manufacturers giving a whopping $21.8 million to a myriad of federal candidates and committees, as well as political parties during election times. In 2013 alone, Big PhRMA spent approximately $18 million solely on lobbying, according to OpenSecrets. While easily one of the biggest contenders to the marijuana industry, Big Pharma was hit with a crucial turning point, a survey of 473 adult therapeutic cannabis users, conducted by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, found that 87% of respondents gave up prescription medications, alcohol, or other drugs in favor of cannabis.
Police unions are known for their significant donations to anti-legalization efforts, tracing back their sentiments to the known fact that the end of the War on Drugs would directly translate to decreased police funding. Ending marijuana prohibition would not only disrupt federal awards and endowments to police departments, 2.4 billion in 2014, it would also cut into marijuana-related asset forfeitures. In 2010, a police union lobbyist in California helped to defeat Prop 19, the ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana. Lobbyists work hard to secure millions of dollars for police departments in federal grants set towards eradicating weed.
Private Prison Corporations
Private prisons are another industry that would obviously experience a disruption in the face of legalizing marijuana, and therefore, will do anything in their being to prevent the legislation from passing. If fewer people are being sentenced for marijuana-related crimes, that represents fewer bodies inside these private prison corporations, and that cuts into incarceration profits that these businesses profit from. Corrections Corporation of America has spent at least $970,000 a year on lobbying against marijuana legalization, and GEO has spent anywhere from $250,000-$660,000 a year on lobbying. Private prison companies don’t just stop at lobbying for conservative politicians’ campaigns, though, they have expanded their lobbying funds to campaigns for progressive politicians, like 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The Corrections Corporation of America, one of America’s largest for-profit prison companies, has publicly revealed that continuing the drug war is a key pillar of their business model.
Alcohol and Tobacco Companies
Scared that the marijuana industry would be extremely competitive for the dollars that United States citizens spend on their free-time, alcohol and tobacco companies have worked very hard to ensure that cannabis is out of reach. For example, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors gave campaign contributions to a committee set up to stop marijuana from being legalized and taxed.
MAPH Enterprises, LLC | (305) 414-0128 | 1501 Venera Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | firstname.lastname@example.org