Massachusetts Commercial Just Reefer Madness Propaganda

Keith Mansur

Oregon Cannabis Connection

October 20, 2016 – In Massachusetts the opposition to their modest and reasonable legalization measure have come up with a reefer madness doosey. In their recent commercial they portray suburban Massachusetts as overwhelmed with marijuana shops, including one with customers loitering about and smoking joints in the parking lot. Other footage portrays a toy shop right next to a cannabis retailer, giant marijuana leaf signs along the roadway, and a cannabis shop on every corner.

“Question 4 would allow thousands of pot shops and marijuana outlets across Massachusetts, in Neighborhoods like yours,” the commercial says, as soccer mom is driving around with her daughter in a post Question 4 world, confused by the changes. The commercial continues, warning that the suburbs and shopping malls will be inundated by “Pot Shops”. These shops will be selling yummy looking edibles that are, at least in this overblown commercial, displayed in the windows for the children to see, along with the cannabis flowers and other products.

“The new propaganda piece by the Committee for the Maintenance of Poor Marijuana Policies in Massachusetts, the group opposing Question 4, is purposefully error-riddled,” explained Keith Saunders, a member of The NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) board of directors and resident of Scituate, a town 25 miles South of Boston.

“The zoning for cannabis retail outlets will be determined by individual municipalities. If there is a rec store next to a toy store, that means the town or city counsel said that was fine by them,” Saunders explained further. “Advertising regulations are not formed by the Initiative, but will be determined by the Cannabis Control Commission…The sign on the door of the rec store is forbidden in Massachusetts under our medicinal policies, as it mixes a medical symbol with a cannabis leaf.”

It’s a pathetic attempt to scare voters with lies and portrayals of circumstances that will not happen. Other states which have already implemented legalization have not had these problems. Their claims have no basis in fact. If anything, the opposite is true. Access to cannabis has decreased problems with youth access, and they do not allow cannabis treats to be displayed like cakes in a bakery window. The restrictions are real, and the results are what legalization advocates have claimed would be the result, a reduction in access to kids, fewer people arrested, fewer black market transactions.

A starkly different commercial being broadcast in Arizona by their pro-legalization campaign, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, stars former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon, that “Punky QB” who led the “Monsters of the Midway” Chicago Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX. The commercial will air on October 20 during the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. In this commercial, McMahon dispels fears by explaining how it has helped him medically, and how it can help many others with affordable access available to anyone over 21.

“I was using pain killers, and I was using them daily…It takes its toll,” explains McMahon in the commercial. “Once I retired, I had moved … to Arizona, got my medical card, and have been using marijuana ever since.”

“Someone like me can afford to be a medical marijuana patient, but others aren’t so lucky. Marijuana should be available to all adults who need it,” proclaims the former NFL star in the ad. “I’m voting yes on Prop 205 and hope you will, too.”

One commercial says a simple message, based on facts and truth, and spoken by a sports hero, while the other twists a wild torrid tale in 30 seconds to scare you with falsehoods and lies. Now, which campaign do you trust?

© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

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