Supporters of the initiative to legalize marijuana in Washington are launching a $1 million TV blitz this week. In a somewhat unique twist, the ad features a non-pot smoking mom touting the measure.
"The reality is, the overwhelming majority of Washington citizens believe that treating marijuana use as a crime is not working. But at the same time they don't necessarily want to smoke marijuana themselves. They just want the laws to work better," says Alison Holcomb, campaign director with New Approach Washington, the organization behind Initiative 502.
"We feel that it's very important to reassure people that when we're talking about changing our marijuana laws, that's very different from talking about promoting marijuana use."
In the ad, a woman identified as a Washington mom says, "I don't like it personally, but it's time for a conversation about legalizing marijuana."
The woman goes on to raise questions about the benefits of legalization, including increased tax revenues for schools and health care.
The 30-second spot will run on TV news outlets across Western Washington for the next three weeks. Holcomb says the goal is to get as much attention as possible before the fall election season heats up.
"This is going to be such a busy campaign season and we really wanted to make sure we had a chance to engage voters in thinking about this issue well before the media market just becomes saturated with all of the ads that will be running for other campaigns."
Holcomb hopes the ads will convince voters the people behind the campaign are taking a thoughtful, careful approach to the issue and aren't a "free the weed, let's all get high" group.