Discount Tire donates $1 million to fight marijuana initiative, faces backlash and boycott threats

Posted at 1:30 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 01:57:50-04

Locally-based tire giant Discount Tire is experiencing the wrath of social media users after the company took a political stand against Prop 205. Advocates for legal marijuana have been flooding the company's social media pages calling for a boycott of the company. 

According to campaign finance records on the Arizona Secretary of State's website, Discount Tire made a $1 million donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy last week -- ARDP is the primary opposition to the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. 

Bruce Halle, a Valley billionaire, is the chairman and founder of the company. Discount Tire is known for not shying away from political controversy. Just this past August, Latino community organizations staged a boycott against the tire chain for its support in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's quest for re-relection.
Campaign records show donations totaling $2,269,285 have been made to fight Prop 205 since October 1. In comparison, only about $24,000 has been donated in that same time period towards helping the effort.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol had this response to the million dollar donation:
We are disappointed Discount Tire has made the decision to support marijuana prohibition. But for the next three weeks we will continue to educate Arizonans about the benefits of ending prohibition and taxing and regulating marijuana sales to adults.
The No on Prop 205 campaign isn't resting either. Over the weekend, it placed more campaign signs around the state to highlight, what it calls, the dangers of edible marijuana.  
"While the vast majority of the Yes campaign’s funding is pouring in from out-of-state marijuana special interests whose sole focus is lining their own pockets, we continue to earn the support of a broad coalition of Arizona-based leaders who have a real stake in stopping Prop 205 and the harmful impacts it will bring to our schools, our communities and our workplaces," Annie Vogt, spokesperson for No on Prop 205, said.  "We’re grateful for every donation we receive to help stop this bad policy from becoming law - and we’re proud to have the strong backing of business leaders and companies, like Discount Tire, who understand the disastrous ramifications Prop 205 would have on Arizona."
Discount Tire did not respond to a request for a statement.  Click here for more on our coverage of Prop 205.