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Marijuana Campaign Ads Are Ramping Up


We are in the midst of Election 2014, which I’m sure you can tell by the barrage of campaign advertising all over the place. As Election Day approaches, expect to see more and more ads come across your preferred form of communication, especially on the television. If you live in a state that is voting on medical marijuana or marijuana legalization, expect to see a lot of campaign ads revolving around that topic. Ads are likely to come from both sides of the issue.

Per Bellingham Herald:

While marijuana lobbyists once were content to play nice in their media messaging, the new ads reflect a confrontational style aimed at exposing records and getting elected leaders to board the pot legalization bandwagon _ or at least get out of the way.

The ads are tougher and more visceral, often featuring pleas from ill people who want to use marijuana legally. They portend a new strategy that promises to be on display in the upcoming congressional elections and the 2016 presidential race, when pot might emerge as a sleeper issue.

Campaign ads for and against marijuana are not new. However, they are becoming more and more professional in their quality, and are much more frequent than in the past. I remember a campaign ad for Measure 74 in Oregon in 2010. It looked like it was made by a high school video club, which made me very sad while I was watching it. Zoom forward to 2014 where the television ads for New Approach Oregon are much better. See the ad below:

Anti-marijuana propaganda has been around for decades, and is largely responsible for keeping marijuana prohibition in place for so many years. While opponents might frown upon marijuana campaign ads (pro ads and attack ads), the fact is we are fighting fire with fire these days. And unlike anti-marijuana propaganda, we are using campaign ads that state the facts. I’d like to see more anti-candidate websites created targeting anti-marijuana politicians, much like we did in Oregon during the 2012 Attorney General Election directed at Dwight Holton. The two websites we created were vital to ensuring his opponent’s victory.


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Johnny Green


  1. Frankly, I have absolutely no confidence in the “opposition,” whatsoever. They’re almost out of ammo. Every bit of propaganda to come down the pipeline over the last 40 years has been systematically defeated — each instance of which can be found within moments, online.

    They may try to run cleverly worded, misleading political ads that attempt to capitalize on old school drug war nonsense, but that’ll backfire, horribly. A candidate coming out in favor of continuing such bad policy is simply letting anyone under the age of 35 know that candidate is terribly out of touch. The drug war is described as an “abject failure” more than anything else, these days.

    I’m certain PR guys, like Kevin Sabet, would have politicians believe their “kinder gentler drug war” messaging campaign is working, but all polling *everywhere* says otherwise. Despite Kevin’s best efforts, an election is fast-approaching in which drug war policy is going to be center stage — it’ll be the overwhelming majority of voters wanting to get rid of it, and politicians trying to keep their jobs in the wake of their demands.

    America doesn’t want the drug war. Period. Only a select few ever did, and it was for all the wrong reasons.

    Someone on reddit recently posted about how unbelievably absurd it is that convicted drug dealers are handed longer prison sentences than convicted rapists, considering nobody ASKS for rape. Victimless crimes have become the American police force’s number-one priority, which is asinine!!! How did some kid growing two plants in his closet become a higher priority than rapists and child molesters?

    Nobody wants the drug war, anymore — every candidate who says differently will crash and burn, come November.

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