LOS ANGELES (BP)--One week from Election Day, a string of new polls indicates a California initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana is now a toss-up, just as both sides air their first ads.
For months, the high-profile Proposition 19 race has been a surprisingly low-money race, with California's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races apparently swallowing most potential donations. But the Los Angeles Times reports the Yes on 19 campaign is putting up its first ad Tuesday on Los Angeles cable stations in a $170,000 buy, while the California Chamber of Commerce is spending $250,000 in radio ads that first aired Friday encouraging voters to oppose the proposal, which if passed would make California the first state to legalize the growth, sale and recreational use of marijuana. Individuals would be able to grow their own marijuana in an area not larger than 25 square feet and possess up to one ounce of it. Local governments would be able to tax it; the state would not collect any money.
"Imagine coming out of surgery, and the nurse caring for you was high, or having to work harder on your job to make up for a coworker who shows up high on pot," the radio ad states. "It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes.... Employees would be allowed to come to work high, and employers would be unable to punish an employee for being high until after a workplace accident."
Neither ad buy is significant when compared to the millions spent in a typical political campaign media blitz, but it does show each side views the race as winnable. Read More