Article by Scott Malone, Reuters
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 start of a $650,000 ad campaign.
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 by adults would free up police resources to investigate violent crimes. The Maine group has budgeted $1 million for its ad spending.