Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is planning a behind-the-scenes fundraising event on September 20 at Sanctuary on Camelback. The “roundtable discussion” is to support the governor’s anti-marijuana stance and the anti-marijuana group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP). Colorado prohibitionists attending the event are Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers and former Attorney General Sgt. Jim Gerhardt.
Guests are asked to pay $10,000 to attend the “discussion” and an additional $1,000 is requested for those that wish to attend the reception, reports the Phoenix New Times. Governor Ducey and the group of prohibitionists are attempting to maintain felony prohibition regarding recreational marijuana use. The group has raised $1.5 million in funding so far.
Several of the benefactors of ARDP contributed to Ducey’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign, reports indicate.
Some recorded contributions include:
- $100,000 from T. Denny Sanford of South Dakota
- $5,000 from Don Luke, who also donated $2,000 to Ducey’s gubernatorial campaign
- $40,000 donated from Pima Medical Institute plus $2,000 from Richard Luebke and his wife for Ducey’s 2014 campaign
- $5,000 from Crest Insurance Group. President Cody Ritchie donated $2,000 to Ducey in 2014
- $5,000 from HSL Properties of Tucson, also donating $2,000 to Ducey’s gubernatorial campaign
- $10,000 donated by Ewing Irrigation Products of Phoenix. Company president Doug York also contributed $2,000 to Ducey’s gubernatorial campaign
- $10,000 donated by Michael Pollock. Pollock and his wife both donated $2,000 to Ducey’s 2014 campaign
The governor declined to offer a comment on the issue. A representative, according to reports, handles donations. Steve Sanghi of Microchip Technology Incorporated instructed his company to donate $25,000 to ARDP by personal request from the Governor himself.
Omar Mireles of HSL Properties denies contributing himself and claims his business partner made the donation. J.P. Twist, Ducey’s campaign manager says that the Governor has been open about his wish to see Prop 205 fail. Twist said, “The governor is helping out where and when he can…including fundraising.”
J.P. Holyoak, chairman of Prop 205’s support campaign said, “The governor is making these calls, and then he’s sending in Seth, Sheila, and Bill to make these presentations. It’s not illegal, but he’s using the weight of the governor’s office in an attempt to campaign against a citizens’ initiative.”
Recent polls show that the initiative should narrowly pass in November.
Ducey is said to have told Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini that, “I don’t think that any state became stronger by being stoned.”
Ducey has made statements saying that the public should do its research before saying that marijuana is safer than alcohol or is non-addictive. The Washington Post decided to fact check the governor, and found that alcohol is unquestionably more toxic. Marijuana does not fatally poison people and is far less addictive than alcohol and other substances.
Apparently, ARDP supporter Tim Jeffries, director of the Department of Economic Security told Leibsohn on his radio that Arizona will have “little kids dying from eating pot-laced gummy bears, which is happening regularly in Colorado.” Which, reports and statistics prove is not happening in Colorado.
Dr. George Sam Wang, assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver confirmed that no children in Colorado have died from accidentally consuming a marijuana edible, all children recovered completely.