Biggest contributor to N.J. marijuana vote effort is better known for killing weeds

  • Last modified: February 11, 2021

Who’s funding the effort to legalize cannabis for recreational use in New Jersey?

It’s not the Big Marijuana companies.

The largest contributor to the Garden State’s legalization drive is a lawn care company: Scotts Miracle-Gro, a firm best-known for grass seed, turf builder, and eradicating weeds.

The second largest backer is the American Civil Liberties Union of N.J.

Scotts has ponied up more than $800,000 so far to promote the ballot measure that would approve a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for adult use, according to a report issued Wednesday by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC), which tracks election spending.

Scotts contributed $700,000 to the pro-marijuana political action committee, Building Strong Communities Action Fund, according to NJ ELEC. The company also gave an additional $100,000 to NJ Can 2020, a group promoting legalization as a way to address social and racial injustice. NJ Can 2020 is closely affiliated with the ACLU.

The ACLU-NJ itself donated about $323,500 to NJ Can 2020.

The only organized group opposed to the measure, Don”t Let NJ Go to Pot, has raised less than $10,000.

Total spending in New Jersey — pro and con — amounts to a fraction of other states’, totaling a mere $1.3 million, so far, said Jeff Brindle, executive director of NJ ELEC. [Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer]

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