Spreading information that is full of half truths, and sometimes even outright lies, is not new to the cannabis reform battle.

Cannabis opponents will try just about every trick in the book to keep prohibition in place. The motivation behind such behavior can vary, but the tactics are often the same.

Spreading information that is full of half truths, and sometimes even outright lies, is not new to the cannabis reform battle. It's safe to say that if reform is being pursued, there will be an opponent there spreading reefer madness.

It's been happening since the very beginning or prohibition, and sadly, I don't expect it to end any time soon. That is the case in California recently, where a legal challenge has begun in an attempt to remove false and misleading ballot arguments from election materials.

The threat of 'big marijuana'

There are four main issues the 'Yes on 64' campaign has with the ballot arguments provided by opponents to the measure. They revolve around the 'big marijuana' messaging points that opponents have been pushing lately.

The first falsehood that opponents offered up was that “Children will be exposed to ads promoting marijuana gummy candy and brownies...” The campaign points out that the opposite is actually true in their press release announcing the lawsuit.

The second falsehood is that “Proposition 64 . . . would repeal countless consumer protections just passed last year and signed into law by Governor Brown.”  The initiative does not do any such thing.

Cannabis is the next 'big tobacco'

Opponents have tried very hard to paint cannabis as being the 'next big tobacco' and the ballot arguments that were made in California reflect this.

The third falsehood that opponents offered up was that the initiative “Rolls back the total prohibition of smoking ads on TV, by asking, "Why does Proposition 64 exempt marijuana from the ban on smoking commercials on TV?...Proposition 64, in effect, overturns a 45-year ban on smoking ads on television . . . .”

The fouth falsehood the campaign points out is, “Proposition 64, in effect, overturns a 45-year ban on smoking ads on television, legalizing marijuana ads airing to millions of children and teen viewers...These marijuana smoking ads will be legal on all broadcasted primetime shows and approximately 95% of all broadcast television programming.”

Federal law clearly prohibits both points, as the campaign points out. This misinformation is nothing more than fear mongering. Cannabis is drastically different than tobacco, but opponents try very hard to lump the two together in an attempt to piggy back on the traction developed by anti-tobacco campaigns.

***

How do Green Flower readers feel? Should the ballot arguments be taken down entirely, or just edited? I personally feel that they need to be removed altogether, as I can't see how they can be edited in a way as to not be misleading, but I'd love to see readers suggestions if you have something to share.

What should happen to the ballot arguments offered up by opponents in California?

What should happen to the ballot arguments offered up by opponents in California?

stay the same
0%
be edited
18%
be removed
82%