In the final stretch of the election season, the supporters of marijuana prohibition seem to be beefing up their campaign advertisements. A strong emphasis is put on the danger of children using marijuana—most ads include the message about kids' exposure to pot.
Meanwhile, the legalization advocates also use advertisements as a strong tool of influence. In their turn, weed enthusiasts show compassionate parents and teachers who claim that legalizing marijuana will keep the plant away from the black market. The introduction of cannabis laws can help regulate the issue.
Each state has its own advertisement battle going on. Let us look a little closer at some of the most active oppositions in the country.
The state has two opposing parties that use the media to show the voters different sides of cannabis consumption. The advocates stream ads featuring the famous NFL quarterback Jim MacMahon, average mothers, and teachers who talk about the benefits of marijuana use including the additional income from taxing it and some medical benefits.
The prohibition supporters highlight the pitfalls of the legalization with the help of former Colorado politicians. The “No on 205” advertisement uses Colorado marijuana laws as the example of marketing cannabis-infused edibles to children and the increase in traffic deaths.
The pro-cannabis fraction dwells on the question of safeguard measures that will be taken after the introduction of cannabis laws. According to the ads, marijuana will be legal only for adults 21 and over, the packaging will be child-proof, and edibles that appeal to children will be banned.
The campaign behind the non-cannabis side mentions the dangers of children consuming cannabis-infused candies and the issues of marijuana advertising on TV. The advertisement sponsored by the anti-legalization group claims that running marijuana-smoking ads in prime time will expose children to the herb.
In terms of advertising, Floridian anti-marijuana group supports the Californian view on the matter of cannabis legalization. Their ad touches upon the issue of candy-like weed-infused products that are often sold near schools. They argue that medicine should be prescribed by the doctors and not sold to anyone as a candy that is more potent than a joint.
The “Yes on Medical Marijuana” ad in Florida focuses on the medical side of the issue. To ease the patients' pain and suffering, physicians prescribe opiates and other dangerous narcotics. The legalization of cannabis will allow doctors to recommend a safe and effective alternative.
After looking at the examples of marijuana ads in these three states, we can say that the campaigns revolve around approximately the same aspects of marijuana use and legalization. Cannabis supporters dwell on the medical benefits of the plant's use and the issue of profit. Anti-marijuana groups focus on the way the legalization will influence children whose consumption of marijuana can lead to consequences.
Other states support the tendency as well. Maine, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Nevada—all these states stress the fact that the legalization can compromise the safety of their children. To sum up the whole nation-wide campaign, ads are made to show that small children cannot tell the difference between regular sweets and marijuana-infused ones and will be exposed to them even more. At the same time, weed already circulates on the black market, and teens can buy it illegally. So the counter-argument of cannabis advocates is that the right regulation can keep cannabis in the hands of medical patients and adults.