In November, California may become the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But it's going to have push past the beer industry to get there. According
to Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim, The California Beer &
Beverage Distributors became the first "competitors" of marijuana to
enter the debate, contributing a sum of $10,000 to the Public Safety
First, a committee organized to oppose the proposition. Pot initiative
proponents are "closely watching" to see if more money from the liquor, wine or
pharmaceutical industries will enter the fray in the few remaining weeks.
The alcohol industry, Grim contends, has always seen illicit drugs as a
threat to sales if only for the simple reason that, "A night spent on
the couch smoking marijuana and watching television is a night not spent
at the bar."
Not all members of the California Beer & Beverage Distributors sided with the decision however:
Sierra Nevada and Stone Brewing Co., microbrews that began in California but have become popular national brands, both lashed out at the CBBD after news of the distributor's donation was reported on Celebstoner.com, a popular website focusing on marijuana-related news, and Alternet.com.And Grim notes, "The last thing a California microbrew needs is to be associated with the effort against legalizing marijuana."