Today in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the Marijuana Policy Project rolls out a new TV ad aimed at persuading state legislators to legalize pot in order to reap the rewards of windfall sales taxes that would presumably accrue from above-board marijuana sales. The 30-second spot features what MPP calls “an actual California marijuana consumer” (whew — that must've been hard to find) telling viewers that state leaders “are ignoring millions of Californians who want to pay taxes.”
The woman, whom Associated Press identifies as Nadene Herndon, a 58-year-old retired state worker who has suffered multiple strokes, says pot users “want to pay our fair share.”
San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill to regulate and tax marijuana, claiming it could save the state $1 billion, although in interviews he's expressed the opinion that his proposed legislation won't pass this year. His view, however, was expressed before the current budget meltdown. An April L.A. Times business-page piece written by Michael Hiltzik characterized the valuation claims of pot-tax advocates as “hallucinations” built on guestimates of the size of the state's marijuana crop and the number of people who consume it.
The spot, which will run in L.A., Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay
Area, begins with pictures of a health-care worker and a police
officer, and concludes by claiming such taxes could pay the salaries of
20,000 teachers. KABC Channel 7, Los Angeles, reportedly was one of several stations that refused to
accept the ad.