With the polls shifting against legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the Yes on Proposition 19 campaign is going to the airwaves with its first television commercial.
A spot featuring former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara begins running in the Los Angeles television market today. He declares that "the war on marijuana has failed" and it is time to legalize pot "to allow police to focus on violent crimes, and put drug cartels out of business."
Proposition 19 strategist Dan Newman said the campaign picked the L.A. market for its initial commercial run "because it's the biggest market with the most swing voters and the largest proportion of election day voters." He said the Yes on 19 effort plans to "ramp up" ad airings in other markets soon.
The commercial comes as a recent Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll shows Prop 19 losing among likely California voters by 51 to 39 percent. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California had Proposition 19 trailing by 49 to 44 percent after the same poll had the initiative leading 52-41 percent in late September.
Here's is the text of the ad featuring McNamara, followed by the video below.
"Let's be honest: The war against marijuana has failed. I know from 35 years in law enforcement. Today, it's easier for a teenager to buy pot than beer. Proposition 19 will tax and control marijuana just like alcohol. It will generate billions of dollars for local communities, allow police to focus on violent crimes, and put drug cartels out of business. Join me and many others in law enforcement. Vote YES on Proposition 19!"