The battle over the potential legalization of recreational marijuana in the Golden State has hit your living room.
The campaign for Proposition 64, which would allow Californians 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, unleashed its first television advertisements this week. The spots include one called "Safeguards," which touts that pot marketing and packaging would not be aimed at children.
The other, "Revenue," says cannabis taxes would generate $1 billion in revenue to fund after-school programs and job-training initiatives.
"Californians overwhelmingly support replacing marijuana criminalization with a smarter, safer approach,” said Brian Brokaw, campaign manager for the measure. "Proposition 64 is the most comprehensive, thoughtful marijuana policy in the nation and reflects the input of the hundreds of organizations and experts — and these ads are designed to straightforwardly communicate the vast safeguards and benefits of Proposition 64 to every voter in the state."
California Secretary of State records show that the initiative has spent at least $6.5 million on advertising. The campaign has raised $14,281,218.16 since Jan. 1. The No on Proposition 64 campaign has raised only $428,646.74 during that time, records show. SAM Action (SAM is for Smart Approaches to Marijuana), an independent committee supporting the no side, however, has raised $1,364,000.00 so far.
The new ads appear to be designed, in part, to counter arguments by the No on Proposition 64 campaign that marijuana marketing will reach prime-time television if this initiative is passed by voters Nov. 8. A narrator on "Safeguards" says "Prop. 64 bans advertising directed at kids."
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The campaign has argued that even though the measure would allow pot products to be advertised on TV, federal regulations prohibit it for now. Of course, both sides can still fire away on television in an effort to get your vote.
"The [new] ads — in a straightforward, fact-based way — highlight for California voters Proposition 64’s comprehensive approach to marijuana decriminalization, its toughest-in the-nation safeguards for families and local communities and its funding of important youth and job training programs," according to a Yes on Proposition 64 statement.