TV Advertising Blitz Improves Chances for WA Marijuana Legalization


A $2.8 million TV advertising blitz in October by the campaign to legalize marijuana in Washington State appears to have given Initiative 502 a critical boost just as ballots are being cast, reports the Seattle Times. There are no marijuana leaves or even admitted marijuana users in the ads, reflecting I-502’s strategy to attack the ban on marijuana while not endorsing its use. The TV spots are made more potent by a lack of opposition ads raising questions about the consequences and costs should Washington become one of the first states to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

The Washington Poll, conducted by University of Washington political scientists and released yesterday, found support for I-502 solidifying since its Oct. 18 poll. Support among likely voters rose from 47 to 55 percent and opposition dropped from 40 to 38 percent, with the number of undecided voters shrinking. Another poll, commissioned by KING 5, reported nearly identical results: 55 to 37 in favor, with 7 percent undecided. The university’s Matt Barreto was surprised by the swing in support, which he attributes to the “very strong and effective” ad campaign. “I thought this might tighten up more, because it’s such a radical change,” he said.

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