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California chamber begins radio ads to defeat Prop. 19

The first major advertising in the campaign against the marijuana legalization initiative hit the airwaves Friday with the California Chamber of Commerce spending $250,000 for radio ads.

The spots say, in part, that Proposition 19 "is worded so broadly that it would hurt California’s economy, raise business costs and make it harder to create jobs."

The ads, which started Friday in Los Angeles and will begin Saturday in San Diego, significantly bolster the No on 19 campaign, which has been vastly overmatched in fundraising. As the opposition campaign entered the two weeks before the election, it reported having about $47,000 available, while the main pro-Proposition 19 committees had $450,000 to spend.

The chamber maintains the initiative would undermine the rights of employers to ensure their workers are not high, raising the risk of injury, lawsuits and increased insurance costs.

"When people understand what would happen in the workplace when this becomes law, they are inclined to vote no," said Denise Davis, the chamber’s spokeswoman. "We’re going to keep working to get the message out as broadly as we can right up until election day."

Tom Angell, a spokesman for the Yes on 19 campaign, said that voters know enough about marijuana not to be swayed by the chamber’s ads.

"This is the same old reefer madness scare tactics that the voters have been bombarded with for decades," he said.

Angell declined to disclose whether the campaign intends to advertise in the final week before the Nov. 2 election. "We’re still keeping our options open," he said.

The campaign has focused on a grass-roots effort to drive turnout among young people and minorities, as well as outreach to women with children who are seen as swing voters.

Proposition 19 would allow Californians 21 and older to grow and possess marijuana, and it would allow cities and counties to approve cultivation and sales. It includes a provision that protects people who use marijuana from discrimination, but also allows employers the right to address consumption that impairs job performance.

The chamber says this mean a worker could show up high and the employer could not act unless the worker caused an accident. The Yes on 19 campaign says employers would retain their rights under current state law to refuse to hire marijuana users or dismiss those who are impaired.

In the 60-second ad, a female narrator says, "Imagine coming out of surgery, and the nurse caring for you was high. Or having to work hard on your job to make up for a co-worker who shows up high on pot. It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes."

-- John Hoeffel

Comments () | Archives (59)

Big business is against Prop 19? I must be for it.

This is a New Low!!!! The Government is Bringing Religion between are state of California, and federal Law. If the government is listening, leave these good religions out of this dispute. The government has shown its true disgusting face. “YES TO PROP 19”.

Don’t believe me visit this link:

This is disgusting, it would be the same as if someone showed up as drunk, it would be blatantly obvious if a nurse showed up high to work.

Just another fear mongering tactic, this country is going down the shitter fast.

Of course the Chamber, MSM and local, state and other governments want to keep the infrastructure in place for the continuing "war" on drugs. It provides an enormous funding resource that hasn't made even a small dent in the problem for decades. In fact it has gotten worse. But we still use the premise to tax the hell out of people, expand police state authority, incarcerate tens of thousands and even kill others.

There is no rational way to deal with this problem from the aspect of governmental involvement and government knows it. Is this going to be an eternal effort? Can we not expect total success, ever?

It's time to wake up. We are becoming the eternal victim class of, as in the movie Casablanca, "the usual suspects" for authorities. This must end.

"Imagine coming out of surgery, and the nurse caring for you was high ON PAIN KILLERS. Or having to work hard on your job to make up for a co-worker who shows up HUNG OVER. It HAPPENS EVERY DAY.
Is there no limit to the obvious hypocrisy of these fools. Gawd they make it easy to see.

The Chamber of Commerce is apparently directed by a cabal of small brained cretins. The state that first legalizes cannabis will experience an economic boom of proportions that now seem unimaginable. Want to get rid of excess homes on the market? Legalize cannabis and watch the migration, especially of wealthy, retiring baby boomers into your state, most of whom carry fat wallets.
Want to create jobs, listen to your food service workers, who say vote yes on 19. Want a smaller, less intrusive government that costs less, get the government out of your living rooms and gardens. Yes on 19. Let's begin to end reefer madness, now, in California.

Sitting in a middle class suburb, it's hard to imagine the devastation caused by prohibition. If you're undecided or thinking of voting no on Prop 19, you should know that minorities are six to twelve times as likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than whites, despite their using it at a lower rate.

Check out Charles M. Blow's Op-Ed in the New York Times (Saturday, October 23). He says the war on drugs has been used to create a permanent underclass in America.

You'll see why the NAACP and the Black Police Officers Association both strongly support Prop 19.

To those who favor legalization but fear big corporations: The rumors are false. Big Tobacco has not bought land in California. They won't touch cannabis with a ten foot pole until it is legal federally. They've gone on record.

The pot industry is currently controlled by criminal gangs. No matter how anti-business you might be, wouldn't you rather the industry be run by law-abiding businesspeople rather than criminals?

Prop 19 MUST be shut down! What a joke in arguments 'for' it. Everyone knows that people are affected just being around someone puffing on pot. Do we want children inhaling secondhand dope smoke? I don't think so.


Opposition "ads" are full of lies and distortions! Cannabis should have never been illegal in the first place. Its “illegality” is not based on any science, just on lies, distortions of fact, and blatant racism. The truth is that Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, and that it may also serve as a much “safer alternative” to alcohol and/or hard drugs. Another Cannabis product, hemp, was used by humans since time immemorial! It is fully recognized that Cannabis use SUPPRESSES VIOLENT BEHAVIOR, and that Cannabis may be used to help not only treat, but to also prevent some devastating illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The fact is that Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years exactly because there are so many ways in which this remarkable plant can help us and our planet. So, it is naive to presume that a bunch of fear-mongerers can change this fact, no matter how loud and untruthful they become! I worked in addiction medicine for years, and Cannabis use was the least of my problems, so I do recognize that classifying Cannabis in the same group as heroin and cocaine is one of the greatest scientific fallacies of our times. The so-called “gateway” drug theory was found to be totally invalid, and a very recent large study called this “theory” half-baked. It is simply untrue scientifically.

As Kathleen Parker aptly observed on CNN couple of days ago, “To say that most hard drug addicts start with marijuana is the same as to say that all rapists start with masturbation”. Yeah, that’s about it! Cannabis is not physically addictive, as there is no clearly definable and reproducible physical withdrawal syndrome, observed with alcohol or opiate withdrawal, for example. A recent large study denied any connection between smoking Cannabis and a risk for lung cancer. Quite the opposite, Cannabis use is being found to have some preventative role with such serious conditions as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and according to the latest research, Cannabis may even be an “exit substance” for recovering alcoholics/hard drug/prescription drug abusers. Cannabis criminalization leads to horrendous Civil Rights violations around the country. YES to Cannabis re-Legalization! YES on Cali Prop. 19!

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