Campaigns supporting and opposing marijuana ballot measures are filling up airwaves and social media feeds with political advertisements in the run-up to the midterm elections.
From Utah to Michigan, battles to convince the electorate via video advertisements to vote one way or the other on cannabis-related initiatives are heating up.
Here’s a roundup of ads you can find on TV and the internet as competing camps work to get out the vote in the four states with recreational or medical legalization up for consideration on Election Day.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol also produced a series of ads focusing on the safeguards that a regulated cannabis system creates, the economic benefits of legalization and the positive impact of a legal marijuana marketplace on criminal justice.
But in this ad, anti-legalization Healthy and Productive Michigan president Scott Greenlee falsely conflates active impairment from marijuana with the presence of cannabis metabolites in drug tests.
The group also created an ad fear-mongering about the risks that the legalization of cannabis edibles poses to young people.
New Approach Missouri, a campaign vying to pass one of three separate measures to legalize medical cannabis in the state, presents several ads championing support from doctors, patients and veterans for Amendment 2.
The same pro-legalization committee blasted the backer of a competing amendment over his measure’s proposed tax policy on legal medical cannabis.
Dr. Brad Bradshaw, the main supporter of Missouri’s Amendment 3, released a video touting his credentials and arguing that a vote “yes” means supporting cancer research. (The video is not embeddable, but you can view it here).
A campaign committee in support for Amendment 3 also released several attack ads on Amendment 2, including the fact that it allows patients to cultivate their own medicine at home. (These videos are also not embeddable. You can view them here).
“Personal freedom and criminal justice reform are at the heart of Measure 3,” a pro-legalization ad states. “On November 6, let’s exercise our rights and vote ‘yes’ to legalize recreational marijuana.”
On the other hand, ads attacking North Dakota’s bid to legalize marijuana for adult use range from interviews with a former Denver mayor to a commercial focusing on edible cannabis products, produced by the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Drug Safe Utah, an anti-legalization committee, released an ad indicating that the group was sympathetic to efforts to legalize cannabis for medical use—but that the legalization proposal at hand goes “too far.” (The video is not embeddable, but you can view it here.)
It’s likely that pro- and anti-legalization camps in Utah would have funded more ads ahead of Election Day—but competing campaigns effectively reached a ceasefire in light of a proposed legislative compromise deal that lawmakers are expected to consider soon after November 6, regardless of whether the ballot measure is approved by voters.
Voters in 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin will have the chance to voice their opinion on marijuana legalization in November—in the form of non-binding advisory questions that could help inform future legislation. The pro-reform advocacy group Forever Wisconsin released an ad recently that delivers a short and sweet message to prospective voters:
Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.