May 27, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Sacramento, CA – The California branch of the Teamsters union has come out against a proposed ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in the state.
The union contributed $25,000 earlier this month to the Coalition for Responsible Drug Policies, which is leading the campaign against the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which would allow sales and possession of up to one ounce for adults 21 and older. The measure is likely to appear on the state ballot in November. But unlike the police and prison-guard organizations which are the prohibitionist campaign’s main backers, the California Teamsters are not “philosophically opposed” to legalization, union lobbyist Barry Broad said. Instead, he said, the union’s problem is that the measure would allow vertical integration of cannabis businesses, where one company could handle manufacturing, distribution, and retailing. “We favor a highly regulated and tiered model of distribution, similar to the way alcohol is regulated, where there’s an independent distributor that doesn’t grow or sell marijuana,” Broad told BuzzFeed News. “We could be supportive of an initiative if the regulatory structure was one that we thought appropriate. Read more