False TV ads from opponents of Prop 1 in Michigan were pulled from TV stations in lead-up to election
Opponents of marijuana legalization often rely on misleading arguments and fear tactics in their attempts to diminish support for sensible marijuana policy reform. In the run-up to the election for Proposal 1, the adult-use legalization initiative that recently passed in Michigan, the prohibitionist group Healthy and Productive Michigan went even further by publishing television ads with demonstrably false claims.
In their first TV ad, opponents claimed that Prop 1 would allow marijuana products with “unlimited potency.” The text of the initiative, however, plainly stated that the regulator would be required to impose a limit on the amount of THC in edible products.
When the YES on 1 campaign reached out to broadcast TV stations to inform them of this demonstrable falsehood, two stations, WWMT and WPBN, agreed to stop airing the ad. In total, the Prop 1 opposition campaign spent nearly $350,000 on broadcast television ads. The TV stations that pulled the ad accounted for about a third of the opposition’s broadcast TV budget.
“I pointed out that Proposal 1 required that the regulator, the Michigan department of licensing and regulatory affairs, set a maximum potency level for edibles per Section 8 of the initiative,” said Matthew Schweich, MPP’s deputy director who ran the Michigan campaign. “I felt it was necessary to prevent Healthy and Productive Michigan from misleading voters through the use of demonstrably false claims.”
In Healthy and Productive Michigan’s replacement ad, the group falsely claimed that marijuana tax revenue in Colorado has not benefited Denver schools or students. Public documents published by the city’s government disproves this allegation.
Fortunately, voters in Michigan didn’t buy the lies and propaganda peddled by opponents of Prop 1. The measure passed with a substantial margin, 56% to 44%.
“It is somewhat uncommon for TV stations to pull political ads, and this is the first time I’ve seen it happen on the six marijuana reform initiatives I’ve been involved in over the past four years,” Schweich added. “It is representative of the dishonest campaign that prohibitionists ran in Michigan.”
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Bringing legalization to the Midwest would be a game changer — support the YES on 1 campaign today
It’s incredible to see the progress we have made in recent years. Marijuana has been legalized for adults in nine states and Washington, D.C., and polls show two out of three Americans want to end the failed policy of prohibition.
But our opponents think they can stop our momentum — and they’re spending a lot of money to defeat Prop 1 in Michigan.
A win in Michigan would demonstrate the strength of our movement. But imagine the headlines if Prop 1 fails. Project SAM and their prohibitionist allies will claim that the tide is turning. Politicians in Congress would take note, and if they think voters are changing their mind, our reform efforts at the federal level could be jeopardized.
We have to prove the anti-legalization voices wrong. Make a donation to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their opposition’s fear tactics.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol produced a series of powerful ads. These TV and digital ads tell the truth about legalization, and they are the perfect antidote to the opposition’s demonstrably false attack ads. Your contribution will go directly towards helping the campaign share these messages with more Michigan voters.
There’s not much time left. Election Day is just a few days away. We can’t emphasize enough how important Prop 1 is for the future of our legalization movement. Please, get in the fight and support the campaign today.
Donate to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their dishonest opponents.
We’re concerned about the legalization campaign in Michigan. Polls are tightening, and new campaign finance reports show that Project SAM and big corporate donors like the Dow Chemical Company and ITC Holdings Corp have recently poured nearly $1.4 million into the effort to defeat Proposal 1. The pro-legalization campaign was outraised during the last reporting period.
We’ve seen this before. In 2016, a blitz of donations from business allies of prohibitionists, including an opioid manufacturer, helped narrowly defeat the Arizona legalization initiative. We can’t let that happen this year in Michigan.
In order to gain support, the opposition is running a very dishonest campaign. Their TV ad claims that Prop 1 will allow edibles with “unlimited potency,” even though the initiative clearly states that the state government will craft regulations including a maximum THC level for marijuana-infused products. Furthermore, Project SAM is campaigning on the ground in Michigan trying to win over voters by claiming it supports decriminalization, which is yet another false claim.
If Prop 1 passes, Michigan will become the second-largest state in the country to legalize marijuana for adults, and the first in the Midwest. But if the initiative fails, Project SAM and their anti-legalization allies will claim victory and say that the legalization movement’s momentum is faltering. That could hinder our efforts to reform marijuana laws at the federal level.
There’s so much at stake. Please, don’t sit on the sidelines and allow Project SAM and their dishonest attacks against legalization to win. Donate today to help defeat marijuana prohibition in Michigan.