One of the most consequential ballot measures this November is California’s Measure 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana. Some polls suggest the measure might actually pass and has a narrow lead among some polls. However, the nation’s beer industry, which is hurting from the continued recession is pouring money into the campaign to oppose Measure 19 because of fears it will only further the beer industry’s economic troubles.
The brewing industry wants to be the only legal drug around. The heads of this industry fear a diluted market as many beer buyers may divert their buying patterns. Further, recent beer wholesale price increases may be harming sales, at least in the short run for the industry as well.
Beyond any business market changes, the controversial California ballot measure would create a huge wave of national and international legal consequences. Would it open the doors to more acceptance of harder drugs? How can other states or the federal government justify existing drug laws in the other states, or a huge prison population because of some nonviolent drug oriented crime sentence? Will it increase or decrease public safety, such as crime or DUI type problems with motor vehicle safety?
The brewing industry is running scared. Many in law enforcement and drug policy are scared as well. In this screwy election year, California may create a political earthquake if this measure passes.