Question 1 on Maine’s ballot is specifically about marijuana legalization in the state. In direct response, pro-marijuana campaigns have introduced TV advertisements in Maine.

The Maine advertisement above uses law enforcement to help people understand the benefits of legalizing marijuana from a criminal justice standpoint. The point of the ad is to persuade Maine residents that their tax dollars are going to be used directly to punish real criminals, instead of being wasted on minimal drug offenses. This is an ad used to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans by focusing on the economic and criminal justice advantages of decriminalizing marijuana.

Along with television ads, a bus advertisement has upset many residents in the state promoting marijuana over alcohol. The ads were posted in bus shelters, which upset residents who were worried about the visibility to individuals under the age of 21.

There has been significant coalition building between public health experts, parents, youth, and law enforcement to try and combat the push of marijuana legislation; however, no advertisements have been produced against the initiative.

Marijuana legalization in Maine has a direct relation to national politics, because it will set the stage for other states to follow suit. As stated in a previous article, Maine has often supported a third-party candidate in higher numbers than other states in the nation. Polling shows Gary Johnson at 12% support in Maine, and since marijuana legalization has been a significant appeal for supporters of the Libertarian platform, this slew of pro-marijuana ads could motivate voters behind Johnson. However, Johnson will need wider appeal since the question of marijuana legalization is directly on the ballot, voters will not need a champion to their cause, they can express their interests directly.

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