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California Anti-Legalization Activists Face Fine Over Campaign Violations

The Smart Approaches to Marijuana group failed to disclose certain big money donors.

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SAM Action Inc, the political lobbying wing of the anti-cannabis advocacy group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, is in hot water with California campaign officials after they were late or negligent in filing donor information and donation amounts. 

According to the L.A. Times, the California Fair Political Practices Commission will impose a $6,000 fine on SAM Action Inc. and a $3,500 fine on Public and Mental Health Advocates Against 64, an anti-pot campaign committee that received funding from SAM Action Inc.

The group’s primary infraction was failing to add major donor Julie Schauer to their campaign committee’s name, and failing to disclose five of Schauer’s contributions. 

Schauer, a retired art professor who lives in Pennsylvania, has donated $1.36 million to SAM to help anti-legalization campaign in California and a number of other states. Schauer also happens to be the same woman who took to Twitter to insinuate that marijuana leads to violence.



SAM representatives told campaign investigators that the violations were “inadvertent” and brought on by "inexperience with California campaign reporting requirements," but that won’t change the punishment for breaking the state Political Reform Act. 

“A central purpose of the Act is to ensure receipts and expenditures in election campaigns are fully and truthfully disclosed,” the California Fair Political Practices Commission said in a written statement.  “In this case, the Committee failed to timely and accurately disclose contributions received and the Schauer Trust’s involvement as a major donor to the Committee.”

The commission will get together on April 20th to approve or alter the suggested fine, hopefully celebrating California’s first 4/20 with legal weed by picking the pockets of one of the country’s most active anti-cannabis advocacy group. What a time to be alive.

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