Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have pocketed $4,500 in the past two years from marijuana industry companies such as Happy Valley, Alternative Therapies Group and Garden Remedies, according to state campaign finance records.
DeLeo took in $1,750, while Walsh accepted $1,000, according to state records.
The bipartisan power trio vowed to fight legalized marijuana in 2016, creating the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts in 2016, a political opposition group that spent $2.8 million to oppose recreational sales. They argued that making the drug more accessible could further increase the state’s opiate addiction toll.
“You’ll hear the other side say that marijuana is not a gateway drug,” said Walsh during a 2016 press conference. “If you know anyone in the recovery community … you’ll hear that most of them, many of them started with marijuana.”
Baker cautioned about “the creation of a billion-dollar, for-profit commercial marijuana industry,” at the time.
But when reached yesterday, the Baker campaign appeared unfazed by suggestions of hypocrisy and defended the donations.
“Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito are proud to have broad, bipartisan support for their approach to governing and reaching across the aisle to serve the people of Massachusetts, working with the Legislature, educators, law enforcement and strong public health advocates like the governor’s Cannabis Control Commission appointee Jennifer Flanagan, to responsibly and safely implement the adult use of marijuana and honor the will of the voters,” said Terry MacCormack, a spokesman for the Baker and Polito campaign.