Campaign contributions from California supporting the legalization and taxation of marijuana have largely come from the Bay Area, with the Tax Cannabis 2010 campaign sponsors leading the charge, according to state campaign finance reports.
Oaksterdam University, a "cannabis educator," and S.K. Seymour LLC, a "medical-cannabis provider" doing business as the university, have poured nearly $1.4 million worth of monetary and nonmonetary support into the initiative since 2009, placing Alameda County in front when it comes to donations in support of the initiative.
San Francisco comes in second with about $22,000 donated to the campaign during the same time period.
But Californians aren't the only ones supporting the campaign with their wallets. Individuals from more than 15 other states and even Barcelona, Spain, have given to the effort.
Philip D. Harvey, of North Carolina, gave $100,000 in June to a different campaign that also supports Proposition 19. Harvey is president of DKT international, a nonprofit organization that works to promote "family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention through social marketing in the developing world," and he's also "one of the world's leading purveyors of 'adult entertainment,'" according to his website.
Other notable donors include Men's Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer, who donated a total of $20,000 in 2009, and Facebook and Asana co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who put in the same amount early this year.
Donors supporting the initiatives hold a variety of jobs, ranging from violin teachers to ministers to truck drivers.
More than a dozen donors of about 100 who listed a job title didn't have one. The unemployed contributed a few thousand dollars in support of the legalization and taxation of marijuana with the retired, business owners and attorneys turning up six or more donors each.
Campaigns that oppose Prop. 19 have not been as successful to date. Public Safety First received one donation of $20,500 from the California Narcotic Officers' Association earlier this month.
Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies – a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles – said it's still early for donations, and that most of the campaign money would likely be spent from late September to early October.
Law enforcement groups would likely be the main opposition to the proposition, but Stern was not sure there would be a lot of money spent to oppose it.
While the legalization and taxation of marijuana will be one of the most closely examined propositions this fall, Stern said it seems most people already have a stance on it. "The advertising is not going to play as big a role in this proposition as others," he added.