New Initiative 502 TV ads to start Thursday

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana sales is launching a  TV advertising salvo using some of its best assets: blue-chip ex-federal law- enforcement supporters.

A pair of ads, to run in Seattle and Spokane broadcast and cable markets and on cable in Vancouver, feature former U.S. Attorneys John McKay and Kate Pflaumer and the former FBI supervising agent in Seattle, Charlie Mandigo. The trio emphasize the need to divert law-enforcement resources toward “violent crime” instead of what they see as the failed federal ban on marijuana.

As with a previous ad in August, which featured a middle-aged woman who declared she “didn’t really like” marijuana, these new ads are meant as sober indictments of marijuana policy, but don’t embrace marijuana use itself. That conservative messaging approach reflects I-502′s emphasis on regulation and taxation. That has helped win I-502 its establishment support, and to depress opposition.

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