In the run-up to Election Day, at least two Michigan television stations pulled political ads promoting false claims about the state’s ultimately successful marijuana legalization measure, cannabis reform advocates told Marijuana Moment.
The ads, paid for by prohibitionist committee Healthy and Productive Michigan (HAPM), attempted to stoke fears about legalization, incorrectly claiming that the initiative would allow for “unlimited potency” cannabis products.
“Legalized marijuana allows ice creams, cookies and candies with unlimited potency, making its way into our schools and playgrounds, putting the lives of our children and grandchildren at stake,” the ad states.
But that claim was fact-checked by the pro-legalization Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which raised the issue with television and radio stations where the ads were being run. Two stations—WWMT and WPBN—decided to pull the ads, according to committee treasurer Matthew Schweich, who also served as deputy director for the national Marijuana Policy Project.
“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,” Schweich said. “I felt it was necessary to prevent Healthy and Productive Michigan from misleading voters through the use of demonstrably false claims.”
The paid-for ad spots were seemingly then filled by another one of HAPM’s ad, which features former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb encouraging a “no” vote on legal cannabis.
Much of the footage appears to be from the same shoot that prohibition advocates used in advertisements against Arizona’s 2016 marijuana legalization ballot measure, suggesting that opponents of the Michigan proposal were in quite a scramble to find a replacement for their state-specific ad that TV stations would no longer air.
“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 in which I’ve been involved over the past four years,” Schwich said. “It is representative of the dishonest campaign that prohibitionists ran in Michigan.”
All told, the anti-legalization committee spent about $340,000 on broadcast television ads—in addition to another roughly $350,000 on cable television ads—and the two stations that pulled the spot in question accounted for about one-third of the total over-the-air spend, according to Schweich.
Marijuana Moment reached out to the anti-legalization committee—as well as prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which provided significant contributions to HAPM and also promoted the ad—for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The “unlimited potency” ad wasn’t the HAPM’s only attempt to persuade the public to vote against full legalization in Michigan. In another ad, the group’s president makes misleading claims about the impact of reform on traffic safety, falsely conflating active impairment from marijuana with the presence of cannabis metabolites in drug tests, for example.
And then there were a handful of generic anti-legalization ads like this one that relied chiefly on fear-mongering.
Representatives for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns both Michigan television stations, also were not immediately available for comment.
The television world will finally welcome its first marijuana-based television this fall when HBO premiers “High Maintenance,” a show about a Brooklyn-based cannabis delivery man. The show that has already aired 19 short episodes on Vimeo will instantly become the first network-based television show to hit the masses.
HBO actually picked up the show over a year ago–on last year’s 4/20–but has taken its time with production and the unveil. Six episodes are planned for the first season, and the premium network service recently posted a trailer to its YouTube page:
HBO didn’t offer an exact premier date, but the show will definitely be airing in a longer format in the network’s fall lineup. The series will follow the same format: follow “The Guy” as he serves up Brooklyn’s marijuana tokers with herb.
But stoners shouldn’t get their hopes up for bong hits or constant laughs. The show, while well written and well-produced, is more about the people who use cannabis to cope with the strife in their lives than it is about the plant itself.
While there is certainly smoke in the show and cannabis is the show’s catalyst, marijuana is typically not an episode’s focal point–and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The show succeeds in elevating the discussion cannabis and showing real, everyday people who smoke cannabis and still live normal lives.
The show may not be tailored for stoners, but its cult, base audience along with its placement on HBO’s lineup should make it an instant hit.
The View cohost’s past stance hasn’t affected her standing with ABC, but Whoopi’s recently launched California medical marijuana brand for women’s menstrual cramps may signal the end her time with the show. According to a report from In Touch Weekly, the network isn’t so pleased about the Whoopi & Maya cannabis venture and thus may not renew her contract this summer.
An insider told the news outlet that
“The View is very strict about their talent not discussing their personal use of marijuana. Her contract is up in August, and it could be time for them to cut Whoopi loose.”
Whoopi’s tenure be an interesting situation to monitor. As legal marijuana becomes more commonplace and medical marijuana’s acceptance grow, the subject would seem like a logical one for shows like The View to cover.
Unfortunately, it appears that some suits in Hollywood still aren’t comfortable putting marijuana on any sort of pedestal in front of its talk show viewers.
Lost in the legalization shuffle, people often forget that (since 1996!),California had had medical marijuana the longer. And if you know anything about California’s medical marijuana law, then you know it’s fairly easy to obtain a doctor’s recommendation in the state of California–as long as your back hurts or you’re having some trouble sleeping.
While it’s easy to find cannabis in California, having a medical card makes it a lot easier. Kimmel’s crew hit Hollywood Boulevard, found an interesting and perfect range of people to represent California, and asked those people if they had medical marijuana cards.
The result was absolutely priceless:
The big takeaway here is that all walks of life enjoy and/or need medical marijuana–for either enjoyment or for cannabis’ many medical properties. The even mixture of those with and without cards combined with the unexpected individuals having cards really says something about the universal appeal of medical marijuana.
Witty, wise, and completely accurate, Kimmel’s latest pot parody plays on the soccer mom stereotype with an added herbal factor. The skit sees a bubbly, very normal-looking mom offer a monologue about why she finds relief in cannabis.
Her answer is a simple one that many tokers young and old can relate to: because smoking a little marijuana makes everything better. For “moms who toke up on the go”, that means menial tasks like laundry, cooking, and dishes suddenly have an added spark to them.
Cannabis can certainly make time in the laundry room fly. Just be careful what you smoke: the wrong Indica could easily make you forget you even had laundry in the machine.