So could legalized pot keep California from closing parks and cutting school funding in the state's current budget crunch? Folks at the Marijuana Policy Project say yes -- and they've launched a statewide ad campaign today to reach Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers in California as they wrestle this week over the yawning $26 billion-plus deficit.
Controversy has followed the ads even before they hit the airwaves: they were rejected by the NBC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area, and by ABC affiliates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The fear among some broadcasters: they appear to advocate drug use.
But perhaps that's because such ads are a first in California, says Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project, who predicts they're going to "catch people's attention. It's something nobody's come out and said in such a straightforward manner on TV before. I think there's gonna be some interest and it'll help the conversation along.''