Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 8, 2012

The Legalization Effort targets Coffee Drinking Moms

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 Too often, legalization efforts get tangled up in outdated 1970s-style stereotypes.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.



  1. I agree whole-heartedly, Riley. This is exactly the way to promote change. I love whoever is making these ads and want them to tackle other issues as you suggest. Thanks for sharing for us’ns who have no TV signal.

  2. While women are more hesitant than men, the soccer mom cohort is more likely to favor legalization than their moms and dads are. The group should have another ad targeting seniors.

    This lady doesn’t like marijuana herself. That strongly implies she has tried it, which makes her a criminal if she has no card.

    • I think she is saying that she doesn’t like the idea of it . . . but yes I agree that senior citizens are also hesitant, but I wonder if those votes are gettable. I hope they do come out with an effort aimed at those voters.

  3. […] 2006 and 2008, which means I bet the 42nd race is going to come down to the wire. Throw in a couple ballot measures boosting Democratic turnout and you have the makings for a very interesting […]

  4. […] initiatives, campaigns and millions in advertising dollars, I figured I would take a break from the insanity of […]

  5. […] about I-502: the initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana? How do you feel about the measure? Rep. Larsen takes a thoughtful pause. “I haven’t […]

  6. […] this initiative a couple times. I’ve made the case for legalization in general, and this initiative in particular. So in this case, I’m going to keep it really […]

  7. […] due to the sheer number of young families that live in those precincts. Although they were the target of the campaign, young mothers remain one of the demographics most opposed to […]

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