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Here's a List of Arizona Prohibitionists Who've Donated Big to Keep Weed a Felony

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    When you need to spend $1,500 on new tires, will you give money to Bruce Halle, the owner of Discount Tire, who gave $1 million to make sure pot stays a felony in Arizona? The munchies gave you a craving for a slice of pizza — but did you know that Grimaldi's Pizzeria in downtown Scottsdale recently gave $10,000 to the prohibitionist group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy? Does opposition to Proposition 205 by Empire Southwest LLC of Mesa make you more or less likely to rent construction equipment from the firm?

    Whether you're pro or con on Prop 205, which voters will decide on Tuesday, it's always important to follow the money. The money gathered and used by the group behind Prop 205 essentially comes from just two sources: the Arizona dispensaries that will benefit if voters approve the measure, and the national Marijuana Policy Project, which also put the Arizona medical-marijuana law and Colorado's recreational-legalization law on the ballot.

    The anti side has a larger, more diverse group of donors. Not that all these people or groups deserve a boycott like the one launched against Discount Tire, but their staunch belief that Arizonans should be thrown in jail for something half the state believes should be legal is worth a closer look.

    Not only do these folks want marijuana to remain an arrestable offense in Arizona, but they're backing an untruthful campaign. Representatives of the ARDP claim falsely that marijuana is killing children and that employers will lose the ability to maintain drug-free workplaces.

    This week, three Democratic Colorado lawmakers slammed the opposition group for stating that money from marijuana taxes hasn't helped Colorado schools, noting that the $138 million in pot taxes have gone to the state's department of education in the past two years. The Arizona Legislature's own budget-analysis division calculated last year that Prop 205 would bring in $124 million a year in fees and taxes by 2020.

    Governor Doug Ducey's name doesn't show up here, by the way, but he should be considered the ARDP's number-one fundraiser, considering his high level of campaigning and fundraising against the ballot measure. Here's the list (as of today) from the Arizona Secretary of State's Office of prohibitionists, politically minded business owners, and others who gave $10,000 or more to encourage the defeat of Prop 205. Companies and donors are from Arizona except where noted.

    • Arizona Chamber of Commerce $918,000
    • Sheldon Adelson (Nevada casino magnate) $500,000
    • Insys Therapeutics Inc. (maker of Fentanyl and synthetic THC) $500,000
    • Empire Southwest LLC (construction-equipment company) $350,000
    • Services Group of America (food distribution company — has a division that sells food to private prisons) $180,000
    • SAM Action (national anti-marijuana group) $165,000
    • T. Denny Sanford (South Dakota businessman) $100,000
    • Larry Van Tuyl (auto dealership mogul who owns a $125-million-dollar yacht) $100,000
    • Randy Kendrick (wife of Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks owner) $100,000
    • $50,000-plus donors:
    • Arizona Mining Association $51,000
    • Arizona Automobile Dealers Association $50,000
    • Michael Ahearn (co-founder of First Solar) $50,000
    • $25,000-plus donors:
    • Arizona Republican Party $45,570
    • Anita Farnsworth (Mesa philanthropist) $40,000
    • Pima Medical Institute $40,000
    • Dan Grubb (auto dealer) $35,000
    • U-Haul $35,000
    • Gila River Indian Community $25,000
    • Robson Communities Inc. (home developer) $25,000
    • Fulton Homes Corporation $25,000
    • Larry Clemmensen (Paradise Valley investor) $25,000
    • Southern Arizona Leadership (Tucson-boosting group) $25,000
    • Microchip Technology Incorporated $25,000
    • $10,001 to $20,000 donors:
    • William R. Metzler (real estate) $20,000
    • Arizona Cotton Growers Association $15,000
    • Taylor Morrison Inc. (homebuilder) $15,000
    • Greater Phoenix Leadership $15,000
    • Robert H. Castellini (Cincinnati Reds baseball team owner) $15,000
    • Jim Chamberlain (Sun State Builders owner) $12,821
    • Kent and Shelley Bunger (owners of contracting company) $11,000
    • $10,000 donors:
    • Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (parent company of Arizona Public Service utility) $10,000
    • Bashas' Inc. (grocery-store chain) $10,000
    • Daniel and Carleen Brophy (Wyoming-based philanthropists) $10,000
    • Foster Friess (Wyoming businessman) $10,000
    • Peterson & Burge Enterprises (Kingman brother-and-sister business behind Desert Oro Foods) $10,000
    • Arizona Rock Products Association (Rock PAC) $10,000
    • El Dorado Holdings Inc. (developer) $10,000
    • Ken Ellegard (auto dealer) $10,000
    • Jim Click Automotive Team $10,000
    • Bennett Dorrance (Campbell Soup heir) $10,000
    • Arizona Trucking Association $10,000
    • Scott Savage (Ohio investor) $10,000
    • Grimaldi's Brick-Oven Pizzeria $10,000
    • Lavidge (ad agency) $10,000
    • Michael Pierson (part-owner of Team PRP, a Mesa auto recycling firm) $10,000
    • Ewing Irrigation Products Inc. $10,000
    • Richard C. Adkerson (CEO and president of Freeport-McMoran) $10,000
    • Freeport-McMoran (mining company) $10,000
    • Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association Inc. $10,000
    • Ed Breunig (Laz-Y-Boy Furniture Gallery owner) $10,000
    • CopperPoint (insurance company) $10,000
    • Douglas Fougnies (patent enforcer) $10,000
    • Salmon for Congress (Matt Salmon isn't running for Congress any more, but can use his donors' money for other political campaigns) $10,000
    • Donald Diamond (Tucson real estate investor) $10,000
    • Knight Transportation $10,000
    • Arizona Chapter Associated General Contractors of America Inc. $10,000
    • M.R. Tanner Construction $10,000
    • Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association $10,000
    • Michael Pollack (Tempe movie-theater owner) $10,000
    • Sun State Builders $10,000
    • Jerry Hayden (retired businessman and Club for Growth donor) $10,000

    By Ray Stern - New Times/Nov. 3, 2016
    Photo: Gage Skidmore, flickr
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. idfma
    B, did you just ruin Discount Tire for me? ;) I guess I just bought my last set of tires from them.

    Thanks for the article. This is good to know.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Sorry, idfma. Seems even in 2016 fascist mindsets still hold strong roots in America. Mournfully, there are a stunning number of US citizens and US business owners that you would have never expected leaned 'that way' - but really do. Until, that is, you take the time to look, which I am glad the writer Ray Stevens did. It's stunning information in this day and age, and stands as further proof that ignorance has little to do with formal education and has more to do with the quality of the soil of a person's heart.

    Mom, dad and grandma were wrong: Scary monsters do exist.
  3. CaptainTripps
    IDFMA, you have got it exactly right. While some businesses do things like this out of "civic mindedness", many do it for a profit motive in some way, shape for form. That is their weak underbelly. They don't care about you or how you think, but they do care about how you spend your money. So make it clear that you are not going to spend money with those who believe you belong in jail.

    Lists like this are vital for change. These businesses need to know that if they support these oppressive policies then the cost is going to be far greater than their donation.

    1. Do not buy products from companies you know actively support prohibition.

    2. Do not directly invest in companies you know actively support prohibition ( I know if you own mutual funds there might not be much you can do)

    3. Let your feelings be known. If banks and other investors believe that a company has public relations issues, they will be more hesitant to make loans to these companies and if they do they will be at higher interest rates.

    Beenthere2hippie you have done an excellent job with the candidates. This election will be over soon, but the fight goes on no matter who wins. I think it would be great if there was a thread that puts companies who support prohibition in the spot light. Not only could DF members avoid rewarding those who would take their freedom away, it would send a message that this information was out there and people had access to it. Marijuana prohibition is very unpopular with millennials, so unless you are selling adult diapers, you might want to avoid any appearance of being a prohibitionist. :eek:

    Don't forget money is speech per the Supreme Court and "money doesn't talk it swears!" per Bob Dylan.
  4. idfma
    Ironically, we hear the term 'free market' all the time, but it is so far from that reality it's not even funny...up to and including one market pouring money into another to prevent a third from existing--free indeed. :)

    Speaking of free, unfettered markets, I'd really like to see the lobbying industry have some real restrictions put on it. Money should not be speech, and the fact we now have the people who benefited from that decision threatening to hold the Supreme Court hostage is testimony to how truly bad things have gotten.

    We (regardless of our political orientation) elect them to run the government, and in the past several years, the opposite has been true--rather than compromise, progress or accomplishment, our elected officials have pursued their narrow personal/lobbied interests at the expense of our entire system.

    Love the Dylan quote, Captain--if only...
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