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July 2010
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It's going to get really ugly (updated)

Thanks to Logan for pointing out this nasty internet ad by the anti-proposition-19 folks:

The ad goes on to read…

As California goes, do does the
rest of the country.

“do does”? OK, we didn’t say they were literate.

This November, Californian’s [sic] will go to the polls and decide if they want to legalize the use and cultivation of Marijuana. Your state could be next. Bus drivers, forklift operators, hospital technicians, crossing guards who might be stoned could be coming to your community.

Seems to me that bus drivers, forklift operators, hospital technicians, crossing guards, doctors, teachers, judges, police, and (ironic mothers? — not sure what the image on the left is supposed to represent) should be pretty offended by the implications of this ad and want to support the other side.

bullet image On the radio, we have Democrat Michael Rubio, a Kern County supervisor who is running for state senate in Bakersfield. He apparently decided he could get more visibility for his campaign by running radio ads against legalization. (Maybe someone from Bakersfield can explain this.) Listen here.

Of course, he rails against “legalized potheads driving around.” I’m afraid we’re going to hear a lot more about those in the days to come. Facts, of course, won’t matter much from that side of this debate.

Oddly, he starts by calling it “legalizing the — quote — recreational use of marijuana —”

Um, no. It is in fact legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. I’m not sure what the purpose of the “quote” is. I know it was fashionable for prohibitionists to put quotes around the term “medical marijuana” to ridicule the idea that it was really medicine. But is he saying that “recreational marijuana” isn’t… recreational? What is it, work?

When pot is legal, will the following conversation be taking place?

Sarah: “Hey, you want to go to a movie?”

George: “Oh, I wish I could! No, I have to get stoned and drive a car and run over some kids. Hey, it’s a living.”

Update: They’re probably alerted to the mistakes in the ad, so Roger Salazar will be stepping in to clean it up and straighten out the drunks on his staff. When that happens, here’s a pdf of how it originally appeared.

Update 2: The ad has been removed. Currently, I’m getting a “Directory Listing Denied” at that page, and another ad they had aimed at California audiences is also gone.

Update 3: The ads have returned. And now they’re fixed (in terms of grammar and spelling — but still offensive). Jacob Sullum has more:

But Public Safety First, which is running the campaign against Prop. 19, is all about fear. Its website features photos of a doctor, a teacher, a judge, and a cop with joints dangling ridiculously from their mouths, suggesting prohibition is the only thing that prevents people from getting stoned at work. It says “bus drivers, forklift operators, hospital technicians, crossing guards who might be stoned could be coming to your community.”

Yes, these people might be stoned, but that is true whether or not Prop. 19 passes. And even if marijuana disappeared tomorrow, all of these people could come to work drunk. Yet Public Safety First is not campaigning for a return to alcohol prohibition, because it understands that workplace intoxication can be addressed through less sweeping measures that do not penalize responsible consumers for the sins of a reckless minority.

If we remove the terror-tinted lenses of Prop. 19’s opponents, we start to see the benefits of treating marijuana more like alcohol.

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46 comments to It’s going to get really ugly (updated)

  • kant

    I’m not sure what is more amusing about this ad. The lack of proofreading or the fact that all the joints in the peoples mouths are really badly photoshopped in.

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  • can we figure out the ad agency that created this campaign and who is funding it?

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  • By the way, can you imagine how much better the world would be if police and judges responsibly used marijuana?

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  • […] going to get really ugly It's going to get really ugly DrugWarRant / Pete Guither / 07,26,2010 Thanks to Logan for pointing out this nasty internet ad […]

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  • Just me.

    Quote – recreational pot use? So does that mean Quote recreational alcohol use isnt recreational?

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  • claygooding

    Since we are already a majority in America,it means that we have already tuned most of the population in on the facts enough to recognize “Reefer Madness” propaganda.
    I hope!

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  • SpGNo — it’s Democratic consultant Roger Salazar and his firm Acosta Salazar.

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  • Maria

    This ad is quote, brilliant.
    They all look like they are enjoying a nice lolly, or chewin on some hay.

    Why in the world do these people keep on picking on the forklift operators? Hey! Maybe the lady on the right is part of the union? I mean, all the other roles are gender – quote, appropriate.

    Maybe they felt that for that one, they needed to speak to the feminist voice? Shake things up a bit, show these quote – legalizers, that they are in tune with the times! that they are quite down with the straw chewing female forliftees demographic!

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  • Maria

    Tiny keyboards with tiny buttons make for not so tiny typos.

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  • BruceM

    These people always resort to the red herring of confusing legalized drugs with driving while intoxicated (or other activities that are dangerous while intoxicated). They should be called on their red herring. You know one side is wrong when it always resorts on the same logical fallacy.

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  • paul

    Kern County has some of the nastiest law enforcement in the state. They are really infamous–Google it up and you’ll see. Everything from enthusiastic illegal immigrant roundups, arrests for buying too much sudafed, extremely energetic drug enforcement, and a good, old fashioned pedophile witch hunt featuring plenty of very probably innocent accused people and a prosecutor mad with power.

    Here’s a great story in Reason about that prosecutor:

    http://reason.com/archives/2009/12/21/kern-countys-monstrous-da

    Read it and weep. The majority of residents in Kern kept voting for this guy no matter, what. Make me seriously question the basic decency of my fellow man.

    Don’t expect a lot of YES on 19 votes coming from Kern county.

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  • Servetus

    Acosta/Salazar, LLC, must be trying to glamorize cannabis if it has a student, doctor, teacher, judge and police officer toking away as if they’re imitating some kind of new age Marlboro man. Roger Salazar needs to go back to marketing school.

    Also, bus drivers, forklift operators, hospital technicians, and crossing guards in your community and mine probably already smoke cannabis in their time off, which means nothing will change when marijuana is legalized and regulated.

    The Acosta/Salazar website also promotes the bogus idea that organizations will lose their federal grants if Prop 19 passes. Truth is that grant recipients have the right to enforce rules about drug use within their own business, campus, research institute, or NGO facilities or perimeters, as the California Supreme Court has determined, thereby making compliance with the drug-free workplace terms of a federal grant business as usual. The Court has also determined that the state need not help enforce federal law.

    It doesn’t matter if Californians pass Prop 19 and in so doing choose to no longer assist the DEA in their witch hunts. Cannabis simply becomes the exclusive province of the DEA, if they remain stupid enough to pursue the matter.

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  • yeah! What IS with this picking on forklift drivers? Guaranteed I drive a fklift better when I’m high than 95% of the other forklift drivers out there when they’re straight. C’mon, a good forklift driver can pick up a dime off a warehouse floor. These – quote – people are dumbshits of a greater magnitude. I think they’d make Barney Fife nervous.

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  • I suggest more than a few people write FactCheck.org and ask them to pick apart these political ads, and others as they pop up. That is what they specialize in.

    It seems to me we only benefit from their analysis since they are non-partisan, and a widely respected 3rd party group outside the traditional realm of drug policy reform.

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  • Lumpy Gravy

    The roar of the masses could be farts.

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  • Scott

    I love that ad.

    “YOUR STATE IS NEXT”

    Really?

    Awesome!!! It’s about fucking time!!!

    The irony in these idiots using the term “dope” beats louder.

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  • TrebleBass

    About the typo, i’m not sure it’s a mistake. I think it’s subconscious advertising, because the “do does” sound likes the country is going dumb. I think they knew what they were doing with that one. (or maybe it’s just a typo).

    On the other hand, they are also making marijuana look good by saying the people who use it are responsible people.

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  • claygooding

    What do you think America is going to feel for their government and these propaganda creators after they try marijuana for the first time? Do you think they will thank them for the 73 years of lies? The lies told to make marijuana illegal in 1937 were bad but the lies and bullshit they put out now are with full knowledge of the safety and therapeutic efficacy of marijuana and someday
    America is going to be looking at the government through our eyes.
    And instead of ending the lies and propaganda the government just keeps digging the hole deeper.

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  • kaptinemo

    I have to laugh.

    The Internet is our ocean. We swim in it effortlessly; they thrash around and gasp as they sink. The only members of the online target audience that might be in agreement with them are the same socially ostracized dweebs that generally become prohibs.

    Pathetic…

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  • ezrydn

    I read and reread, thinking that there might be an NLP angle to the “misprint.” Nope. Nothing fits into an “action.” Seems it’s just sloppy writing w/o proofing, sort of like the facts they present.

    And, Roger, not if they paid me!

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  • Rhayader

    Haha, “ironic mother”. I was thinking constipated office worker myself.

    Do people really get swayed by this stuff? I can’t imagine this would provide anything beyond confirmation for the mental midgets out there who already would have noted “no” anyway.

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  • Maria

    Looks like a large part of the Hysteria is fear. Once prop 19 passes no one will be able to discipline stoned workers / drivers / forklifters (liftees?) etc. One assumption, of course, is that not a single employee is smoking anything at all now and no one is ever stoned. All these people will suddenly march to work inebriated the second it passes.

    See, ’cause they care more about that crazy weed high than their jobs / careers / families / lives / financial security / health / liberty / reputation / homes / residency / etc.

    Judge Chong up there certainly looks like he’d light up in the court room and pass it on to the counselors to get the party started! Don’t we wish.

    Ok, it’s true, if Bob spends his nights gambling, drinking, screwing and getting no sleep for weeks on end, he will most likely not be a stellar forklift operator. The employer doesn’t need to catch Bob with an ace of clubs up his sleeve and crabs down his pants to illustrate that he sucks at his job.

    Once performance / safety / etc issues have been raised then the employer will find out what’s going on and choose to either work with Bob and help him out of his destructive behavior (since he used to be a stellar forklift operator) – or all things being equal, he fires the idiot for being bad at his job.

    Right now, if someone does a piss poor job, is negligent, slacks off, has bad performance reviews, or screws up a lot because of their substance, habits, personality or lifestyle of choice, the employer can fire them for doing a bad job, but they can’t fire them just for being a sleep deprived, hedonistic manwhore. That’s still how it goes right? (Hopefully?)

    So, what will change? Am I missing some fine print in prop 19 – some salient bit of text that hamstrings employers from firing crappy employees because of bad on the job performance and results? If this text exists then by all means they have a point. But I don’t recall anything like that. This “discipline” non-issue and the grants/funding issue seem to be their major arguments.

    The grant issue can be serious – but much less media hysterics friendly and doesn’t translate into a funny banner quite as well.

    Is it a possible way for the feds to threaten / punish already cash strapped counties, schools, groups etc?

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  • if i can’t smoke pot “quote” recreationally, then i guess i need to start smoking it *seriously*

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  • Just me.

    Recreational? i dont care if its now and then, hardcore, pro,sloppy,tarballs,sticks and stems,seeds only, call it what you will….Its still your body…your choice!
    :SOVEIRNTY:
    Recreational…what ever…

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  • claygooding

    I quit school because they had recess,nothing is recreational unless it involves a fishing pole.

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  • Tony Aroma

    What about the eye surgeons? Have these people not been listening to Barry McCaffrey?

    http://tonysquestforunderstanding.blogspot.com/2010/04/mccaffrey-fears-stoned-eye-surgeons.html

    Maybe that guy second from the left is an eye surgeon. Can’t be sure. They should be more clear about these things if they want us to be afraid.

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  • Chris

    I’ve seen the “recreational use” thing plenty of times. It’s like they equate weed to a poison. Surely you can’t use a poison recreationally, because it will just kill you. That’s probably their line of thinking, since they have no idea what it actually does to a person.

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  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Seth Anderson, b12partners. b12partners said: Twitter Updates for 2010-07-27: It’s going to get really ugly in CA http://tinyurl.com/29g5oj7 # whoo hoo, can fi… http://bit.ly/doUlun […]

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  • JRH

    Those joints look A lot like cigarettes. Are they trying to promote big tobacco.

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  • This ad would be great to spoof with alcohol, with wine bottles covering up the cigarettes. Someone get to it.

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  • daksya

    Or simply a caption saying: “Thank God for Prop 19! I’m tired of lugging bottles around.”

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  • BruceM

    The truth cannot compete with lies. Until we start lying like they do, we’ll never win. Lies go on page one, lies getting called out go on page 30, if they make the news at all. We need to start lying like they do, say smoking pot cures cancer, heroin cures scizophrenia, cocaine cures aids, etc. Though there are enough positive things about drugs that are actually true that nobody ever talks about we should start with those. But we need to lie, just like the prohibitionists and the government lie. Hell the gov’t has conceded it cannot fight the drug war if it is forced to tell the truth, and the courts agreed – it MUST be allowed to lie (for the children of course).

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  • might be more useful to point out that the majority of the really “scary” drugs are already more “legal” than marijuana

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  • Now the NO side is running an AdWords campaign with a non-existent landing page!!! You click on their ad, and you get a 404 error (page not found):
    http://landing.publicsafetyfirst.net/ca/?cdtrack_creative=0f8c98b1-6e03-420a-9f36-269771432b33&cdtrack_source=3db6b64a-7523-476f-83ab-f6d50ea69417

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  • Duncan

    The really sad thing is that anyone who doesn’t use cannabis because it’s against the law is by definition a law abiding person. Driving while impaired is a crime. So the conclusion is that if people that won’t break the law get a chance to get high legally they will promptly start breaking all sorts of other laws.

    Oh well, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines” <–said by some dude named Emerson.

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  • Duncan

    I’ve just been struck by an observation. It seems to me the prohibitionists never pick politicians for their fear mongering. Do we really want our lawmakers making laws while their stoned out of their bobble heads? Pretty soon the country will institute a universal right to munchies qualified snack foods and that’s just another stepping stone on the road to Socialism.

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] Survey USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks andpropaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] Survey USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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  • […] USA one month ago, and indicate that voters’ support is holding steady despite increased attacks and propaganda from our opponents. (NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville has just posted an […]

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