Cash crop: The money battle over legalizing marijuana

Written By Max Rust Posted: 08/14/2014, 06:00am

As the move to legalize marijuana heats up — including potential ballot initiatives in nine states to join pot-legal Washington and Colorado — the pro-legalization lobbyist group Marijuana Policy Project has increased its spending on candidates for federal office this election cycle; almost entirely for Democrats.

A recent analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics examines not only who that group and other pro-legalization groups give to, but also how much is given to politicians from groups that might be interested in keeping marijuana illegal. While these pro-status quo groups (including the pharmaceutical, prison and alcohol industries) primarily lobby for other reasons such as regulation and taxation, the Center notes that they have increasingly stepped up their efforts to keep a lid on the drug.

Click on an icon to see how much, and to which party, each lobby group gives:

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