Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on high profile interest group influence on legislation. Citizen interest groups, on the other hand, with their considerable organizational resources and wide base of support have shown their effectiveness over time in passing new laws by the use of direct legislation (Baumgartner & Hojnacki, 2009). In the United States, for example, alcohol and tobacco companies have been lobbying against the legalization and taxation of marijuana. This is in a bid to ensure that they make the most out of the American population’s high spending on leisure. This paper will discuss how one such high profile interest group, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors has influence legislation and also include the writer’s thoughts and opinion.
Interest groups are a significant mechanism for citizens and economic organizations to make elected leaders know their views, needs and ideas so that they can influence the process of making legislation in their favour (Hays, 2001). The California Beer & Beverage Distributors (CBBD) opened up a new front in the campaign of what was referred to as Proposition 19 when it contributed $10,000 to a committee, Public Safety first, that was in opposition to the proposition. The proposition aimed at legalizing and subsequent taxing of controlled marijuana. Since CBBD is a organization in an industry that would have to compete with legal marijuana, it was protecting the interests of its members by lobbying against the legalization. Illicit drugs have been a threat to the alcohol and tobacco industries for a long time, hence the participation of CBBD in opposing the proposal. If marijuana is made legal for recreational purposes, then that would make the threat much bigger. Looking at the situation from this perspective, my opinion is that CBBD did not join the campaign solely, or with focus on, the safety of the public that would be compromised by marijuana.