Marijuana ads hit the airwaves

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Legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts will endanger your children, change your neighborhood and make society a fearful place.

That’s the central claim of a new ad by an anti-marijuana group in Massachusetts that opposes the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, also known as Question 4, which would legalize recreational pot.

“Question 4 would allow thousands of pot shops and marijuana operators throughout Massachusetts — in neighborhoods like yours,” the ad begins.

A mother watches in horror as her young daughter ogles the edibles in a pot shop: “Shops that sell pot edibles that look like candy and high-potency marijuana,” the narrator says.

Sirens scream in the background and police cars fly by the camera: “In pro-pot states, incidents of drugged driving and fatal car accidents are up,” the narrator says.

When a young man emerges from the cannabis store, he gives the woman a surprised, guilty look. “Mom…” the young man starts.  “Kevin?” the woman replies in shock.


The ad is paid for by the anti-legalization group Campaign for a Safe and Healthy MA. It recently received a $1 million donation from Las Vegas casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

“We are grateful for the support of Mr. Adelson, a Massachusetts native, who with his wife Dr. Miriam has been a long-time anti-addiction advocate,” Jim Conroy, a spokesman for Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe in a statement. “His generosity will prove critical in preventing a billion-dollar marijuana industry from establishing a foothold in our communities.”

Pro-legalization group Yes on 4 released its own ad Tuesday, in which Dr. Susan Lucas says that easing restrictions on marijuana would help her recommend the best treatments to her patients.

“Doctors and patients are afraid to bring up all options for fear of breaking the law,” Lucas says. “Yes on 4 means we can regulate, tax and legalize marijuana to help people with pain avoid opiates.”

If it passes, marijuana would be legal for recreational use Dec. 15, and stores could begin selling pot Jan. 1, 2018. Public use of marijuana, however, would still be illegal, as it is in Colorado and Washington.

Three other states — Arizona, California, Maine and Nevada — have marijuana legalization laws on the ballot Nov. 8, according to National Law Review. Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota will vote on medical marijuana programs. Even if laws pass in all these states, possession, distribution and consumption of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

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