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Proposition 19 backers turn to Jon Stewart, Colbert and Comedy Central with marijuana ads

With the election just five days away, the debate over Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure, is ramping up on the airwaves with both sides launching new commercials.

The initiative’s supporters, armed with cash from recent major donations, are targeting young voters who polls show overwhelmingly support legalization with commercials on Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report."

"Getting younger voters and progressive voters to the polls Tuesday could well make the difference for this historic initiative to end decades of failed, punitive and wasteful marijuana policies," said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

A committee run by the Drug Policy Alliance, which received $1 million from multibillionaire investor George Soros earlier this week, is trying to persuade young voters to show up for a midterm election they might otherwise skip. Democratic activists are watching the initiative to see whether putting similar measures on state ballots in 2012 might boost youth turnout.

The opposition campaign, which has far less money, is running radio commercials. On Thursday, it expanded into the San Francisco market with a new 60-second radio ad. The commercial notes that the major candidates for governor, senator and attorney general, as well as President Obama’s attorney general and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, all oppose Proposition 19. The ad also mocks the initiative as so flawed, its authors must have been stoned.

"Whether you are for legalization or not, it’s not the right approach," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the No on 19 campaign. He said the campaign is targeting the Bay Area, where support for the measure is strongest, because there are still many undecided voters. "There’s a lot of Democratic voters up there, and we want to make sure that the voters in San Francisco understand that a lot of the folks they support are opposed to Prop. 19," he said.

Proposition 19 would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to 25 square feet. It also allows cities and counties to legalize commercial cultivation and retail sales, and impose taxes.

The 30-second ad on Comedy Central aims to motivate Proposition 19 supporters to vote in Tuesday's election, noting the measure could pass with a large pro-legalization turnout.

"They’re hoping we don’t vote this year," intones a male announcer as the text flashes on screen. "That’s why they don’t talk about Prop 19. How it’ll force the government to stop wasting money on outdated pot laws. How it’ll let the police spend more time locking up real criminals. How it’ll bring up to $2 billion a year to California. But the biggest thing they didn’t tell us about Prop. 19 is that the polls show, if we vote, we win."

The commercials will run Thursday and Friday in the Bay Area, and Friday and Monday in Southern California.

The No on 19 ad says the initiative would put the state in conflict with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. "Prop. 19 could even allow BART engineers and school bus drivers to smoke marijuana right up until the moment they climb into the driver’s seat," says a female narrator, speaking rapidly. "Wow. Maybe the proponents should have waited to celebrate until after they had written the legal language because what they wrote is a jumbled legal nightmare."

In another version that will run intermittently, the narrator, in a reference to pot-induced munchies, says the measure submitted to the secretary of state "smelled like Cheetos."

"This is a serious issue," said Salazar, "but that doesn’t mean you have to be humorless about it."

-- John Hoeffel

Comments () | Archives (71)

The state likes the proletariat stoned.

The prop 19 supporters must be high to air ads on comedy central. I would bet 90% of the viewers are already pro prop 19. None of them can vote twice. So, drop money on those two shows will only make them feel good but have next to no effect to the 'mind not made' crowd. Do you know why Obama don't come to CA or NY to get the votes for his election? Because we are not a swing state. Those views of comedy central are not swing voters. No wonder Prop 19 will end in defeat.

The ad is correct! If everybody who is for Prop. 19 simply shows up and votes for it, we will win! There is MUCH riding on this. This has already started a global re-legalization movement.

Yes on Prop. 19!!!

YES on 19. YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES on 19. YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make sure you vote yes on 19 and NO on Steve Cooley for Attorney General - Vote for the Democrat Harris who has the only chance of beating this guy

If he wins, he will only invite the Feds in to take on our States rights.

People do not go to work drunk and there are ways to stop duis, so we already know the opposition's argument is flawed or should I say Republicant!

So, by the logic some of you "no on prop 19" folks are using, shouldn't moonshine be crushing the legal alcohol market? After all, alcohol is taxed heavily and the people who sell it have overhead, etc. to cover.

So why isn't moonshine the powerhouse in liquor sales? Why don't we still see large, underground alcohol cartels?

Oh, I know... because it has been legalized and can be produced and sold by legitimate corporations. When you can walk to the corner store and buy alcohol, there's no need to go looking for rum runners! And, when 19 passes, there will be no need to go to the drug dealers or cartels to buy marijuana.


There is no rational reason why pot is illegal. It's illegal because big pharma, Budweiser, Philip Morris and others with a financial stake in it's continued illegality benefit from selling us more beer, codeine and tobacco.

Pot is illegal because too many financial interests would be hurt by it becoming legal. They couldn't care less how many people are killed in Mexico, or how many people are flush with drug money to run human trafficking or how many cancer patients could be helped with this instead of being made to look like criminals.

Welcome to the U $ of A. Want to change this? Vote yes on 19.

an old friend of mine has brain cancer, the only effective way to stimulate his appetite is through marijuana, he stays at home and trys to make the best out of his days.
It's clear that when marijuana is sold and handled in a black market by gangs and criminals then it is viewed as something negative and harmful.

This is fantastic!

So if it becomes legal just how many more people will be walking around stupid and trying other drugs just because it's there . Next thing you know these pot heads will be saying they need it to help them with there pain so it should be legal for us to use also. What a bunch of crap, I smoked pot for years and I only used it for ONE thing only to get high, When I played football and broke a bone it sure didn't help numb the pain or anything like that, In fact it seem more to make me think more about it, there for it hurt even worse, So to think it helps I say Bull$#!+ NO ON 19

vote yes on 19

I smot poke and I support prop 91.

Do you think I want my students to come to class stoned? Why not they are already zombies drugged to the max on dangerous mind altering antipsychotics/depressants. Why not just kill them all together in one quick blow!
NO on Prop 19

YES ON 19!!!

I like it! If we Vote we Win. Works for me. :)

Marijuana is a drug, period. So long as it is illegal in the eyes of the federal government, anyone caught with it is subject to prosecution. The Constitution says that federal law trumps state law every time and this is no different. I guarantee if prop 19 passes, you're going to see a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) increase in the number of DEA agents in California busting pot farmers. The drug is dangerous. It is like smoking cigarettes with no filters (not that those matter). I've buried friends because of marijuana and believe me, it stinks.

Not only No on 19, but HELL NO ON 19!!



Vote YES on Prop 19 on Tuesday November 2nd. Not only for us here in California but for all the victims of draconian Pot laws across the country that are hanging their hopes on us.

We can change history by overturning 70 years of failed Prohibition and use those dollars to help society and even provide drug counseling for those that need it. Our police can focus on violent criminals and we can begin shutting prisons down, instead of building new ones.

Prop 19 is a start.
I'm hoping that either the supreme court will finally do the right thing and
stop the abuse of the interstate commerce clause, or that it will inspire the
power in DC to voluntarily release the responsibility to the state level.

States should be able to choose whether or not they are "dry" or not.
Next, we will need to regulate pot at the state level for general rules and
localities for specifics much in the way we do alcohol now.
We will also need reasonable standards against public intoxication as well
as stopping jerks from blowing smoke into others "space".

I find it amazing that people - the ones I know, at least - who are venomously against CANNABIS (NOT "marijuana") are the same ones who are hardcore about gun rights. So, ownership and usage of a machine - strictly regulated by law - whose ultimate purpose is to end life is a fundamental right, yet Big Brother Government needs to prevent the ownership and usage of a damn plant, which should not be legalized and regulated? Bizarre.

Anyhow, The last of these stupid Victorian laws in "The Land Of The Free" need to go. It seems that most of those on the "con" side of this issue just have an axe to grind with smokers or are grossly misinformed, thanks to the stereotypes perpetuated by the American news media. When was the last time you heard a news report relating to cannabis in some way which didn't involve the words "major drug bust" or have some ditsy anchorwoman giggle and make a stupid "pot pun" afterward?

And lets not forget about the days when cannabis was said to make white women go crazy and have sex with those wiley "Negroes" and Mexicans, who all listen to that devil jazz and rock-and-roll. Cannabis prohibition is rooted in ignorance. Period.

Another thought...

If cannabis is legalized - and it will probably be by a very slight margin - it will only be a matter of time before the news starts running stories of people crashing cars "while under the influence of marijuana" or idiots holding up stores which sell cannabis. Then the backlash will begin with the "See? See?!? I told you so!" crowd

Come on people get out there an vote Yes on 19!

Vote Yes on Prop 19:

-Increase tax revenue for our State.
-Decrease infective yet costly funds going toward busting pot possession and cultivation.
-Stop ruining the lives of young people by taking away scholarships.

Prohibition has gotten us:

-Blacks arrested for procession 7x the rate of whites, despite smoking pot less.
-Overcrowded prisons.
-Drug cartels and gangs using pot as a major source of income.
-People's doors busted down, dogs shot, and even molested over small amounts of (or even no) weed.
-Not even a small dent in people who smoke marijuana. The most absurdly failed program in U.S. HISTORY. You think the number of people will explode when legal? Anybody who wants it, already does it.

What weed has done to society?

-Not a single recorded death.
-Alleviation of pain
-Gives appetite to those who need it
-Does not make one go crazy in any sense like Alcohol, a far worse and more dangerous drug promoted to you every day in television advertisements and "beer summits"


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