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August 7, 2012

Will women be the key swing voters for state marijuana ballot initiatives?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this interesting local story from Washington, which is headlined "A mellow $1 million marijuana campaign."  Here are excerpts:

A group supporting Initiative 502, which would legalize, tax and regulate sales of marijuana in Washington, is up, up and away with a $1 million advertising campaign and a 30 second spot you’ll see on early morning TV news.  “It’s definitely targeted to women who tend to be less supportive of marijuana reform than men,” said Alison Holcomb, coordinator for the New Approach Washington campaign.

The marijuana campaign is mellow, featuring a woman looking into the TV screen and saying: “I don’t like it personally, but it’s time for a conversation about legalizing marijuana.  It’s a multimillion dollar industry in Washington State and we get no benefit. What if we regulate it?”  The end message:  A “new approach” to cannabis is needed.

New Approach is dealing with a tricky political climate ... [and] the country is polarized. Law enforcement has become addicted to its “War on Drugs” despite evidence that the war is being lost.  The 1930′s-vintage movie “Reefer Madness” is still taken seriously, and the careers of students, park rangers and Olympic athletes get permanently blighted if they test positive or admit to taking a toke.  At the other end of the spectrum are ... “Free the Weed” advocates, the pothead constituency deeply suspicious of city attorneys and former FBI agents and police chiefs signing on to the legalization cause....

New Approach Washington has been laying groundwork for more than a year.  At last check with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, it has raised $2.95 million and spent $1.4 million.  Still, both major candidates for Governor — Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee — have come out against Initiative 502.  So have several major police organizations.

As regular readers know, I find the on-going legalization campaigns in a few Western states to be fascinating and useful for sentencing fans to follow closely.  The local, state and national mood concerning the pros and cons of the drug war are always difficult to guage, and I expect the advertising and polling over theese initiatives to provide an important window into what the most passionate advocates (and monied interests) view as key elements in the broader drug war battlefield.

Some recent and older related posts on pot policies and politics: 

August 7, 2012 at 07:17 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"I don’t like it personally, but it’s time for a conversation about legalizing marijuana."

Like we haven't been having the "conversation" for 50 years or so. And like it's just a "conversation" that she actually wants.

When people intentionally speak in gibberish, watch your wallet.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 7, 2012 9:17:18 AM

" The 1930′s-vintage movie “Reefer Madness” is still taken seriously...."

Really? By whom? I cannot recall discussing marijuana with a single person in the last 40 years who took it seriously.

What is taken seriously, unfortunately, is what I call reverse reefer madness -- the myth that marijuana is completely harmless.

That's not to say that prohibition is the answer. My organization has not taken a position either way on that issue. But the debate should be based on facts, and the principal purveyors of BS today are on the legalization side.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Aug 7, 2012 4:49:24 PM

Forgive my BADE English. I in Mexico. Agree I with Otis and Kent and your Romny. Do not make marijana legal--please I big dealer in Mexico of marijana--need to support family and friends--big hacienda--my family grow rich--ship to your country for years --make legal--then I poor again. not right. Also makes no sense.your country in truble.marijna keep prison guards with jobs-keep police with jobs--keep prosecutors with jobs--good for your country, is good for me to. keeps people in jobs building prisons--mucho bueno for all. Por favor KEEP MARIJANA ILLEGAL!!!

Posted by: Pablo Miranda Escobar | Aug 7, 2012 8:48:20 PM

I speak better English than Pablo. He is right. Also, the Mexican drug cartels are pumping millions into defeating the the state pro-marijana intiatives. I know because I'm the leader of one of the cartels! KEEP MARIJANA ILLEGAL--IT CREATES A MARKET--AND THAT'S GOOD FOR CAPITALISM.

Adios Amigos!!

Posted by: Emiliano | Aug 7, 2012 8:57:46 PM

"Forgive my BADE English. I in Mexico. Agree I with Otis and Kent and your Romny."

And Obama. Did you forget him?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 7, 2012 9:44:55 PM

Si, your Obumma same with marijana-he GOOD MAN--he too keep marijana Illegal. YOU TOO BILL OTIS good man to fight To keep marijana ILLEGAL. COME to Mexcico and I show you good time--you good friend to ME and my amigos and mi familie!! I show you my haciendas--HAVE big ones and big Americn cars to. You like Mercedes? I give you one. Bill, you my Amigo!!

Posted by: Pablo Miranda Escobar | Aug 7, 2012 9:59:46 PM

Pablo --

You'll be doing a lot of visiting with "friends" in the USA, since, averaging the four most recent polls (http://www.pollingreport.com/drugs.htm), 51% favor keeping dope illegal, while 44% want it legalized. What this means is that you'll be visiting about 150 million or so "friends."

Have a good trip!

P.S. Please make a special effort to visit your "friends" at the USAO for EDVA. They have an extra special welcome arranged for you.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 8, 2012 7:45:01 AM

There is no question that the drug cartels in Mexico have a vested interest in fighting attempts to legalize marijana; and they may well be funnelling millions into anti-legalizaton campaigns. That does make for odd bedfellows does it not?--drug lords and the "no on drugs" crowd.

Posted by: onlooker | Aug 8, 2012 9:37:30 AM

Onlooker "There is no question that the drug cartels in Mexico have a vested interest in fighting attempts to legalize marijana; and they may well be funnelling millions into anti-legalization campaigns. That does make for odd bedfellows does it not?--drug lords and the "no on drugs" crowd. "


This was also true in Prohibition. Meyer Lansky (one of the primary money men for the mob) and other mobsters paid off several politicians to vote against the repeal of Prohibition--So ironically mobster Lansky was in bed with the straight-laced no-alcohol crowd.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Aug 8, 2012 9:45:55 AM

I think Pablo may be a put-on, but not so sure about Emiliano. But fake or not, each makes a point. As noted by Onlooker and Dave from Texas, it's certainly in the cartels' interests to fight legalization. I've always wondered where the enormous funding for the "keep marijana illegal" crowd comes from. Very thought-provoking indeed.

Posted by: not a lawyer | Aug 8, 2012 9:54:43 AM

I'll give credit where it's due...Escobar and Emiliano were actually pretty funny posts. A welcome respite from "neanderthal's" drivel.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Aug 8, 2012 10:10:21 AM

The Coalition for Social Justice by Relieving Banks of Their Ill-Gotten, Exploitative, Capitalist Pig Cash (bank robbers for short) is in bed with the Bank Security Guards Union, since without bank robbery, uh, make that redistributive social justice, guards will lose their jobs.

Put an end to this perverse alliance! Send these crooked banks a message and Legalize Robbery!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 8, 2012 10:41:28 AM

There is no question that the drug cartels in Mexico have a vested interest in fighting attempts to bring them to justice; and they may well be funnelling millions into sentence reduction campaigns. That does make for odd bedfellows does it not?--drug lords and the "defense attorney" crowd.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 8, 2012 1:24:04 PM

TarlsQtr:

"There is no question that the drug cartels in Mexico have a vested interest in fighting attempts to bring them to justice; and they may well be funnelling millions into sentence reduction campaigns. That does make for odd bedfellows does it not?--drug lords and the "defense attorney" crowd. "

Nice try but not persuasive. Pablo and Emiliano could care less about the lower-levels mules we imprison for years, much less the jailing of those who possess or use marijuana. They probably don't even use drugs at all. They do care about the hundreds of millions of dollars they reap from the drug trade. this money gives and their families and friends power, sex, weallth. So I can see them making common cause with those want to keep marijuana illegal, and I can see them giving large sums of money to these groups through their surrogates for the common purpose.

Posted by: Pete | Aug 8, 2012 3:12:30 PM

Thanks Pete but my point was that defense attorneys end up in bed with the dregs of humanity (or are they the same thing?)a lot more than the "no on drugs crowd."

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 8, 2012 6:11:08 PM

LOL not bad tarlsqtr! but it could be worse!

The defense attorneys could end up in bed with the POLITICIANS! God what a thought!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 9, 2012 12:06:13 AM

Hi Rod,

There is a reason that so many politicians are attorneys... :-)

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 9, 2012 9:02:50 AM

yes i know we have the same problem in the justice system.

you start as an attorney.

then you go either into for or agaisnt... but still in the same sytem

eventualy you move from in front of the bench to behind it!

the whole time your own self made so-called BAR Association polices you all. yea right!

then you move into politics..


but there is NO conflict of intrest there at all. RIGHT!


i think the first disqualificaion for running for office should be a LAW DEGREE! at least for 2 generations. time to give the rest of us a shot at it. We certainly couldnt' DO WORSE!

hell neither could the average jackass!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 9, 2012 10:15:14 PM

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