Marijuana: Amendment 64 rep sees new TV ad as positive alternative to negative campaigning
If you're watching the Democratic National Convention on either MSNBC or CNN, there's a good chance you'll catch of glimpse of Richard Nixon. Why? He's featured in a new ad for Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act -- and like the campaign's first commercial, released in May, it takes a soft-sell approach to the issue. See both spots below.
"Our goal is not to attack anyone with this ad," says Betty Aldworth, who's both a spokeswoman for Amendment 64 and the narrator of the new clip, "but rather to encourage voters to think differently about marijuana and marijuana users." She adds her hope that the commercial will stand out because of its contrast to the negative political advertising currently dominating the airwaves.
The first images in the commercial are of Barack Obama hoisting brewskis -- photos juxtaposed with Aldworth-delivered reassurances that "we're not looking to end beer summits at the White House -- or change the way people behave on the campaign trail."
That's followed by a dissolve to a couple cuddling on a sofa and the line, "We just believe adults, in the privacy of their homes, should be allowed to use marijuana instead of alcohol if that's what they prefer."
Then comes Nixon and the statement that "forty years ago, our government launched a war on marijuana unrelated to the actual and limited harms of the substance." Finally, graphics accompany the conclusion that "it's time for a more sensible approach. It's time to regulate marijuana."
Richard Nixon's cameo appearance in the Yes on 64 ad.
This pitch is more on-the-nose than the one at the heart of the May commercial, in which a young woman is seen explaining to her mother via e-mail why her experiences with drinking in college have convinced her to shift to marijuana.
The goal this time around is to "highlight the disconnect between how we treat marijuana and alcohol users in society," Aldowrth says. "Hopefully, it will encourage people to question why we use alcohol so publicly as a way to connect to voters, but it's a crime for adults to use marijuana, which is an objectively less harmful substance than alcohol."
As for the Nixon nod, Aldworth says, "It was under Nixon's administration that many of our current punitive marijuana policies were developed, and where the option to treat marijuana differently was presented and ignored. So it's trying to remind voters that our current marijuana policy is not based on science or social reality. It's based on misconceptions about marijuana and marijuana users."
Does Smart Colorado, the No on 64 campaign, see it that way? Not exactly.
Continue to get the No on 64 response to the commercial, plus both Yes on 64 ads and new polling data about the amendment.