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TV Stations Pulled Anti-Legalization Ads Ahead Of Midterm Marijuana Votes, Advocates Say

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In the run-up to Election Day, at least two Michigan television stations pulled political ads promoting false claims about the state’s ultimately successful marijuana legalization measure, cannabis reform advocates told Marijuana Moment.

The ads, paid for by prohibitionist committee Healthy and Productive Michigan (HAPM), attempted to stoke fears about legalization, incorrectly claiming that the initiative would allow for “unlimited potency” cannabis products.

“Legalized marijuana allows ice creams, cookies and candies with unlimited potency, making its way into our schools and playgrounds, putting the lives of our children and grandchildren at stake,” the ad states.

But that claim was fact-checked by the pro-legalization Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which raised the issue with television and radio stations where the ads were being run. Two stations—WWMT and WPBN—decided to pull the ads, according to committee treasurer Matthew Schweich, who also served as deputy director for the national Marijuana Policy Project.

“I pointed out that Proposal 1 required that the regulator, the Michigan department of licensing and regulatory affairs, set a maximum potency level for edibles per Section 8 of the initiative,” Schweich said. “I felt it was necessary to prevent Healthy and Productive Michigan from misleading voters through the use of demonstrably false claims.”

The paid-for ad spots were seemingly then filled by another one of HAMP’s ad, which features former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb encouraging a “no” vote on legal cannabis.

Much of the footage appears to be from the same shoot that prohibition advocates used in advertisements against Arizona’s 2016 marijuana legalization ballot measure, suggesting that opponents of the Michigan proposal were in quite a scramble to find a replacement for their state-specific ad that TV stations would no longer air.

“It is somewhat uncommon for TV stations to pull political ads and this is the first time I’ve seen it happen on the six marijuana reform initiatives in which I’ve been involved over the past four years,” Schwich said. “It is representative of the dishonest campaign that prohibitionists ran in Michigan.”

All told, the anti-legalization committee spent about $340,000 on broadcast television ads—in addition to another roughly $350,000 on cable television ads—and the two stations that pulled the spot in question accounted for about one-third of the total over-the-air spend, according to Schweich.

Marijuana Moment reached out to the anti-legalization committee—as well as prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which provided significant contributions to HAMP and also promoted the ad—for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

The “unlimited potency” ad wasn’t the HAMP’s only attempt to persuade the public to vote against full legalization in Michigan. In another ad, the group’s president makes misleading claims about the impact of reform on traffic safety, falsely conflating active impairment from marijuana with the presence of cannabis metabolites in drug tests, for example.

And then there were a handful of generic anti-legalization ads like this one that relied chiefly on fear-mongering.

Representatives for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns both Michigan television stations, also were not immediately available for comment.

Michigan voters approved the marijuana legalization measure by a sizable margin on Election Day.

This story has been updated to clarify figures for HAMP’s TV ad budget.

Marijuana Ballot Initiative Campaigns Raised $12.9 Million, Final Pre-Election Numbers Show

Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Los Angeles-based associate editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

Culture

Snoop Dogg Has A Salaried Marijuana Blunt Roller On Staff

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Snoop Dogg pays a person between $40,000-$50,000 per year to roll blunts for him, he said during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show.

Comedian Seth Rogen confirmed that he’s watched the employee practice his craft during sessions with Snoop.

“He knows how to gauge the look on somebody’s face when it seems like they want a blunt, and if they do, he gives you one,” Rogen said.

“Timing. That motherfucker’s timing is impeccable,” Snoop said.

Stern asked Snoop to clarify if this person was actually hired by him and the rapper replied “that’s his J-O-B, his occupation.”

“On his resume, it says, ‘what do you do? I’m a blunt roller,” he said. “P-B-R, professional blunt roller.”

“If you’re great at something I need, I’m hiring you.”

Not only does Snoop pay him upwards of $50,000 to roll blunts, the employee also gets perks: he’s welcome to smoke the marijuana he rolls, goes on all-expense-paid trips while Snoop is traveling on tours and gets free items like clothing whenever companies give their products to the artist.

That seems like a pretty good deal compared to an opening within the federal government to mass produce joints for research purposes. The contractor who secures that position is subject to drug testing and presumably isn’t touring the world on the government’s dime.

That said, the job with Snoop likely isn’t a walk in the park. In a Reddit AMA in 2012, the rapper said he smokes 81 blunts per day.

Rogen said he’s spent hours smoking with Snoop and has found himself mesmerized by the worker’s craft.

“There’s been like 40 minutes where I’m like, ‘I’m just watching this guy and I’m just going to see what is going on here,'” he said, “As someone who smokes a lot of weed, it’s fucking fascinating.”

“Honestly, the amount of time I spend rolling joints, it might be worth my while financially to hire someone to do that,” Rogen said.

A video of the comments, released on Tuesday, is more cannabis content from the same Stern interview where Snoop and Rogen also offered advice on smoking marijuana for novices.

Seth Rogen And Snoop Dogg Offer Marijuana Advice To First-Time Consumers

Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Police Ask Florida Man To Stop Calling 911 About His Stolen Marijuana

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A Florida sheriff’s department had to ask a man to stop repeatedly calling 911 to report his roommate allegedly stealing $20 worth of marijuana this weekend.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office shared details about the incident in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday as part of its “#TweetAlong” program, where viewers can a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement activities.

“Alright, so I just received a call—a guy is calling in saying his roommate stole his weed, $20 worth, and he’s upset,” Deputy Neal Zalva said in the video. “He keeps calling 911 so I have to give a call to tell him to stop calling about this weed.”

About an hour later, the deputy gave an update.

“Going back to the guy calling in to report his drugs stolen, I called him and let him know not to call the sheriff’s office and report his drugs,” he said. “He started to freak out a little bit on the phone and then hung up on me shortly after.”

 

While medical cannabis is legal in Florida, low-level possession (under 20 grams) without a patient certification is still a misdemeanor offense that’s punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The department told the Associated Press that no charges were filed against the caller.

There are two measures seeking to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state in 2020, including one that’s being backed by industry stakeholders. Organizers for the other campaign submitted enough signatures in July to prompt a state Supreme Court review of its ballot language.

California Governor Signs Marijuana Tax Fairness Bill But Vetoes Cannabis In Hospitals

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Seth Rogen And Snoop Dogg Offer Marijuana Advice To First-Time Consumers

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Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg have some advice for first-time marijuana consumers: if you bump into them and want to sesh, limit yourself to one hit—or even half a hit.

The cannabis icons joked about their shared love for the plant and offered some tips for novices during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday.

Stern started by asking if the pair had smoked together before. Not surprisingly, they confirmed participating in joint sessions and both agreed that they were enjoyable experiences

“What do you mean when you say you enjoy smoking with Seth?” the host asked Snoop. “Are there people who can bum you out?”

“Yeah, because they talk too motherfuckin’ much and they just get in the way, but Seth enjoys the moment. He’s creative,” the rapper replied. “This motherfucker knows how to make a joint that looks like a cross.”

“He’s a bad motherfucker at that,” he said. “When he pulled that cross out, I was like, ‘God, let there be light!'”

Stern also brought up the fact that one of the show’s producers, JD Harmeyer, planned to smoke cannabis for the first time. For the occasion, Stern told Harmeyer he should probably stick to no more than three hits, and he asked his guests if that was good advice.

“I’d start with one,” Rogen said.

“I’d say a half of one,” Snoop said.

“This is from two guys who have had too many motherfuckers come up and get way too high,” Rogen added.

“And fall out,” Snoop said. “I have a lot of people [say], ‘my dream is to smoke with you.’ Bang. He dying, I’m gone.”

On Monday, actress Jennifer Aniston also gave Harmeyer advice and urged him to “pace yourself” because “it could be the best day of your life or the worst day of your life” depending on how much he smoked.

Later on Tuesday’s show, Snoop and Rogen gave Harmeyer some more advice about what kind of cannabis to smoke while flipping through a menu that appears to be from the nation’s first marijuana cafe, operated by Lowell Farms in Los Angeles.

Snoop said that the producer should stick to a sativa “because it’s a little bit lighter and it’s more of an introduction.”

Rogen agreed that it should be a sativa, but he said the concentration of THC should be on the higher end “to make sure you actually feel something because you might not.”

“But again, one fucking hit,” the actor, who also owns a cannabis company called Houseplant, reiterated.

Rogen has also leveraged his marijuana stardom for philanthropic purposes, putting on an adult carnival where the plant was featured to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s disease.

He appeared at a congressional hearing in 2014 and joked that while people might expect him to advocate for marijuana reform before the Senate committee, he was actually there to promote research into the disease, which his mother-in-law suffers from.

More recently, Rogen participated in a PSA meant to raise awareness of National Expungement Week, a series of events that took place throughout the country last month meant to help people erase criminal convictions, including those for non-violent cannabis offenses, from their records.

Breaking Bad Teams Up With Marijuana Company MedMen To Promote New Netflix Film

Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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