New Pre-Election Ad Shows How Much The Cannabis Narrative Has Changed

A new pro-legalization television commercial is letting cannabis narratives of the past and present speak for themselves.

Seattle multimedia company Higher Ground created the pro-legalization ad to support recreational use ballot measures in California, Maine, Nevada, Arizona and Massachusetts, where the commercial is airing. The ad will also run in states voting on medical marijuana legislation, including Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana. Nine states in total will vote on cannabis legislation of some kind November 8.

“We wanted to use the old Reefer Madness propaganda as part of our ad,” said Higher Ground editor-in-chief Michael A. Stusser, “and juxtapose it with what’s really going on.”

The ad, entitled “Cannabis Clicker”, depicts side-by-side living rooms. While one plays anti-drug commercials and films from the past, the other plays news stories about legalization from the past few years.

“Sometimes it’s best just to let the story tell itself,” Stusser said.

“Teen drug use has actually gone down since legalization, massive taxes have been raised, there has been no increase in traffic fatalities - and the sky has not fallen.”

Along with clips from the original Reefer Madness movie, the ad shows segments of the infamous Your Brain On Drugs PSA (whose spokesman, it turns out, supports legalization), and modern day news clips featuring studies and research pertaining to legalization.


Higher Ground, whose aim is to “elevate the dialogue” around cannabis, produces the world’s first satirical news program about cannabis legalization, along with a newspaper column and website.

Check out Higher Ground's pre-election ad below: 


Nowadays, would your parents still be upset if they caught you consuming cannabis? Parents these days have much more progressive opinions on cannabis, and perhaps if they caught their kids consuming, they wouldn't necessarily punish them. While some parents still want their children to wait until the legal age to consume (if they choose to do so, at all), others don't believe it would be the end of the world if they "caught" their kids smoking pot earlier than that.

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