Right now, I am trying to get over a cold. But after that, I will be pouring over a giant spreadsheet of all the primary election results looking for Whatcom County trends. Expect to see a post diving into those numbers in the next couple of days. If you missed my epic election night live-blog, you can find it here. If you want more pictures, you can find them on The Political Junkie facebook page here.
Now, on to the point of this post. Recently, New Approach Washington, the group of behind I-502, the initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, released this ad which is probably playing on your television somewhere right now.
This is a fantastic ad. It is exactly the right frame to discuss this effort. Rather than getting side-tracked by the pros and cons of smoking marijuana, this cuts right to the societal impacts of legalization: more money for schools and hospitals, allowing law enforcement to focus on more important things, and taking money away from gangs. Yes, this ad makes the common sense, but often ignored, case that legalization does indeed make you safer.
It is no secret that the demographic most hesitant to legalize marijuana is married women between the ages of 35-55. As much as I detest the term “Soccer Moms,” it absolutely applies. These voters are uncomfortable with marijuana and concerned about safety. The ad seamlessly addresses both, “I don’t like it personally,” and then she goes into the stiff penalties for minors and shady retailers. These sorts of messages are designed to allay fears so a solid discussion can take place. Too often, legalization efforts get tangled up in outdated 1970s-style stereotypes. This ad cuts right through that.
I wish more progressive initiatives had as sharp a messaging team as New Approach Washington, because these folks are off to a great start. You can read my initial article about this initiative here, and my case for legalization here.