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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Election Day is finally here. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters across the state, the YES on 1 campaign has done all it can to educate the voters of Michigan about the benefits that Proposal 1 will bring to the state.
Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Find your polling location and set a time to go there today. Polls close at 8:00 pm ET tonight.
Having trouble finding your polling location? Please email us and we would be happy to help.
Michigan is poised to become the 10th state in the country to officially end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Prop 1!
This has been a long campaign, stretching back for two years. Now is when we bring it over the finish line. VOTE TODAY!
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.
Having worked in states across the country to pass humane, sensible marijuana laws, it’s exciting that in just two weeks voters in my home state, Michigan, will have a chance to legalize marijuana!
While polls are encouraging, the opposition is ramping up its misleading attacks, and we can’t take anything for granted.
Growing up in Michigan, I saw firsthand how marijuana prohibition failed my home state. When I was in high school, teenagers had easy — and dangerous — access to marijuana. While buying marijuana from an open-air drug market, someone I knew had a gun pulled on him. It’s heartbreaking to think of kids growing up on that street.
During college, two friends’ dreams of teaching and practicing law were derailed due to cannabis convictions.
Now, when I go back home, I experience pothole-plagued roads and read about shockingly high rates of unsolved crimes, while police waste time on marijuana.
At long last, we have a chance to end Michigan’s wasteful, cruel policy of marijuana prohibition. Proposition 1 will move marijuana sales off of the streets and into regulated stores, while creating good jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Cannabis consumers will have a safe, tested product, and adults won’t be criminalized for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.
Michigan can set an example. So far, only East and West Coast states have legalized marijuana. Let’s bring sensible marijuana policy to the Midwest.
Together, we’ve got this!
- MPP Director of State Policies Karen O'Keefe
Proposal 1, the Michigan legalization ballot initiative, is up in the polls, but it’s still too close for comfort. The opposition campaign is just a couple of big checks away from being able to launch a large misinformation campaign.
We’re in the final weeks of the election, and we need to make sure the Yes on 1 campaign has the resources it needs to educate voters about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. Next week, I hope you’ll join me in Ann Arbor for a special evening to support this important campaign.
RSVP via phone (517-974-2265) or email (email@example.com). If you can’t attend, please consider making a contribution directly to the campaign here. And please share the word with other supporters. Let’s win this!
Analysis: Michigan legalization measure would generate $520 million in new tax revenue over five years
A recent study of the potential fiscal impacts of legalizing marijuana in Michigan found that passage of Prop 1 would generate over half a billion dollars in additional revenue for the state in the first five years of implementation. Read local coverage of the analysis here.
Much of the revenue generated from marijuana would be directed to Michigan’s roads, schools, and local communities, which are currently underfunded.
The report, conducted by marijuana policy consulting firm VS Strategies, made predictions based on a model that drew upon analysis of multiple data sources. By 2023, the study predicts that total annual marijuana sales will exceed $800 million in Michigan. Read the detailed findings of the analysis here.
Election Day is just over a month away, and voters will soon be receiving absentee ballots. There’s not much time left, and the YES on 1 campaign needs your help to ensure the measure passes. Chip in with a contribution today to help them dispel the fear tactics and propaganda of their prohibitionist opponents.
Next week, legendary travel host Rick Steves will be visiting Michigan to give talks in support of Prop 1, the ballot initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana. Known for his hit PBS series “Rick Steves’ Europe,” Rick’s engaging personality and first-hand experience seeing the benefits of legalization in his home state of Washington make this an event you don’t want to miss.
You can catch him in two locations, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Both speaking events are free and open to the public. The tour schedule is listed below.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2
It’s Time for a New Approach: Rick Steves on why legalization is a better solution
Time: 7:30 p.m., doors at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3
It’s Time for a New Approach: Rick Steves on why legalization is a better solution
Time: 8:30 p.m., doors at 8:00 p.m.
Location: Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E Washington St., Ann Arbor
As a board member of NORML, Rick Steves has been a long-time advocate for sensible marijuana policies. Audiences around the country have heard his informative and entertaining talks on marijuana legalization, and now you have a chance to see him, too. Register for one of the events above and share the word by inviting friends and family.
Great news! The Detroit Free Press, one of Michigan’s largest media outlets, has endorsed the Yes on 1 legalization campaign!
The paper’s supportive editorial echoed many of the Yes on 1 campaign’s core messages: marijuana prohibition wastes law enforcement resources, unfairly harms communities of color, and prevents the state from collecting millions in tax revenue that could fund critical social programs. This is a huge boost for Prop 1, but we have to make sure the momentum is carried forward into November.
You can help the Yes on 1 team by making a donation here. Supporters can also promote the effort by picking up Yes on 1 gear from the new campaign store. There, you’ll find some great items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and yard signs, with the official Yes on 1 logo.
We’re just a few weeks away from Election Day (November 6). Michigan residents should visit the Secretary of State’s voter page to get information about polling locations, absentee voting, and more. The deadline to register to vote is October 9. If you’re not already registered, click here for the registration form. Be sure to fill it out and deliver it to your city or town clerk’s office by October 9.
If you have friends or family in Michigan, please forward this email to them and ask them to vote “Yes” on Prop 1. I’m confident that if enough people pitch in, we’ll be celebrating another major victory on November 6.
On Friday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage followed through on threats to veto legislation that would have started the process of implementing a regulated marijuana market that Maine voters called for when they approved Question 1 in 2016. The bill, which was supported overwhelmingly in the House and Senate, would have created rules for cultivation, processing, and retail establishments, as well as set tax rates for adult-use marijuana and delay marijuana social consumption lounges until summer 2019.
LD 1650 was the product of nearly seven months of transparent deliberations in the legislature that included input from a variety of stakeholders and concerned residents. Gov. LePage and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) attempted to circumvent this legislation by introducing a bill to officially delay marijuana retail sales until 2019, but it was defeated in late October.
MPP's David Boyer released the following statement:
Gov. LePage has made a mistake by vetoing this legislation. Instead of a regulated and controlled system of marijuana cultivation and sales, Maine will continue to support the unregulated market. In 2014, the governor said he would implement a legalization law if approved by voters, but he has failed to uphold that commitment.
We call on the legislature to override this ill-advised veto. The bipartisan compromise bill proposed by the legislature will allow Maine to establish the regulations necessary to implement the will of the people as expressed last November.
In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker campaigned against the marijuana legalization initiative last year. However, he respected the outcome and moved forward with implementation of the law. It is unfortunate that Gov. LePage has not done the same. Seven other states have passed legalization initiatives over the past five years, and none have seen this type of obstructionism from their governors.
MPP will continue working with our allies and the legislature to make sure Maine voters gets the legal and regulated marijuana program they called for last year.
UPDATE: Legislative attempts to override the veto failed. MPP is urging lawmakers to address the issue immediately at the beginning of the next session.