The California Beer & Beverage Distributors is spending money in the state to oppose a marijuana legalization proposition on the ballot in November, according to records filed with the California Secretary of State. The beer sellers are the first competitors of marijuana to officially enter the debate; backers of the initiative are closely watching liquor and wine dealers and the pharmaceutical industry to see if they enter the debate in the remaining weeks.(Those who read beer blogs would have spotted a mistake in this paragraph: distributors are not exactly "beer sellers." They are the middlemen who take the beer from the brewers and give it to the retailers.) As it happens, Stone and Sierra Nevada were caught in the crossfire: as nonvoting affiliated members, they weren't aware and didn't endorse the CBBD's political contribution. (And are apparently trying to do serious damage control.)
I wouldn't make too much hay about this. The CBBD's donation of ten grand is merely symbolic in a state where a single candidate may spend $150 million dollars on a statewide race. But it will do nothing to endear the already-unpopular beer distributors with Golden State potheads.