Campaigns to legalize recreational marijuana use in Massachusetts and Maine launched their first television ads on Monday, hoping to boost public awareness and support ahead of November votes on the issue.
The ads began just over a month before Election Day, when voters in five U.S. states will determine whether to legalize the recreational use of the drug, following the lead of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia.
The Massachusetts ads feature Tom Nolan, a former Boston Police Department officer and current professor of criminal justice at Merrimack College, advocating for legalization as a way to better regulate marijuana use.
“Question 4 requires strict product labeling and child-proof packaging and bans consumption by kids,” Nolan says in the 30-second spot, citing the question’s position on the Nov. 8 ballot.
The Maine advertisement also features an ex-law enforcement official, former Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion, who argues that legalizing the use of the drug for adults over the age of 21 would free up police resources to investigate violent crimes.
The campaigns launch a week after the group Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona launched its first blast of TV ads. Voters in California and Nevada will also face ballot questions on the issue this year.
Both the Massachusetts and Maine campaigns face stiff opposition from local officials, with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, a recovering alcoholic, among the most prominent Democratic voices against the idea. Walsh has stressed the perceived risk that legalizing marijuana could lead users to become addicted first to pot and then other drugs.
Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, has also repeatedly voiced his opposition.
Recent opinion polls have shown voters in both northeastern states favoring legalization. Some 53 percent of respondents to a WBZ/UMass Amherst poll of 700 likely Massachusetts voters last month supported the measure.
The result in Maine was much the same, with 53 percent of 505 likely voters polled by the Portland Press Herald saying they favored the idea.
Massachusetts’ pro-legalization Yes on 4 Campaign said its initial $650,000 television campaign would last a week, with the group potentially extending it if it proved effective.
“It’s a matter of how much money we have and how much TV we can afford,” said Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the group. “Voters will see more TV adds, they’ll see some mailings and we’ll certainly be attending forums and debates.”
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Frances Kerry)
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: