Organized effort against marijuana legalization not entirely legal
According to documents obtained by DCist from the Office of Campaign Finance, an organization called TIE, which stands for “Two Is Enough, DC”, launched a campaign against marijuana legalization that was not entirely…legal.
In August, the group whose name means that alcohol and tobacco should be the only legal substances in the District began a formal attempt to dissuade voters against Initiative 71. According to The Washington Post, founder William Jones III announced that his organization would campaign against legalization with billboards, Metro ads, videos, leaflets, and community events.
Jones has voiced concern that the initiative would unfairly target the African American community. “Let’s see what tobacco and alcohol have done, and they haven’t had a positive impact, especially on our community,” he told WAMU. “My concern is that with legal marijuana, eventually we’re going to be looking at the same thing.”
TIE, however, was found to be in violation of several campaign finance laws, such as failing to officially register as a political committee, include correct language on its campaign literature, and file a financial report.
In response to these allegations, Jones has recently testified in a hearing with the OCF that TIE DC was just a blog he began to inform the public about the initiative. The TIE founder also stated that the “No On 71″ initiative, which he chaired, was the political committee he started to officially campaign against the legalization of marijuana.
While TIE might have started off as a blog, according to the OCF’s allegations, it eventually grew into a full scale political movement. In addition to its failure to register with the OCF, TIE also never filed an expenditure report, which is a requirement for any organization or committee that raises funds for campaigning.
Photo: DC Cannabis Culture via flickr