Florida's Five Funniest Anti-Medical Marijuana Ads This Year

Two years ago, a cloud threatened to cast a shadow over the Sunshine State — a cloud of medical marijuana, which would have become legal if Floridians had voted to ratify Amendment 2. Although the measure narrowly failed to clear the 60 percent threshold needed to become law in 2014, Amendment 2 is back on the ballot this year, and the ad campaign against it is back on the air.

Last time, the "No on 2" campaign, bankrolled by Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, suggested that if medical marijuana were legalized, pot cookies would become "the new face of date rape." This summer, the no campaign is out with a new round of over-the-top TV spots. We ranked the five funniest ones so far in this election cycle.
5. "Search"
For the opening salvo in its 2016 campaign, "No on 2" uploaded a three-minute point-of-view video of your dad angrily muttering over his laptop. While the ad's excruciating run time makes it far too long to truly be called funny, its creators deserve credit for apparently scoring a celebrity endorsement from Jerry Smith of Rick and Morty. Just like the show's hapless dad, none of the narrator's burns ever seem to land with the devastating force that he intends. And just as in the show, you'd cringe at every whiffed punchline — if you took the guy seriously.
4. "Edibles"
Things take a turn for the apocalyptic in "Edibles." About 20 seconds in, as Lord of the Rings-style battle music begins to swell and cartoon weed leaves start to choke the State of Florida, we learn there is nothing that can stop our children from falling for the sugarcoated allure of medical marijuana. Nothing, that is, but Sheldon Adelson staring Amendment 2 right in its fiery eyes and shouting, "You shall not pass!"
3.  "10x Stronger"
Curiously, the relative strength of marijuana fell from "20 times stronger than it once was" in "Edibles" to ten times stronger in the next ad "No on 2" put out. The one thing "No on 2" knows for certain, though, is that weed being ten times stronger is comparable to one beer having the effect of ten beers... right? New Times ran the numbers. It checks out.
2. "Three Things..."
There are three things the "No on 2" campaign would like voters to know about California's medical marijuana policy, and the narrator in this ad counts them off with reverb in a gravely voice usually reserved for monster truck announcers. Number o-o-one is that the average medical marijuana user is a "32-year-old white male with a history of alcohol or drug use." Granted, two-thirds of all Americans drink regularly, the country's median age is in the mid-30s, and the population is still majority white, so the typical medical marijuana user sounds an awful lot like a statistically average American.

But sure, it is concerning that most marijuana users are white, especially when you consider that black Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as whites — although, come to think of it, that doesn't seem like a point in favor of the continued criminalization of weed.

1. "Budtenders"
"Budtenders" is a genuinely funny ad. The comedic timing of its main punchline (bud tenders "know a lot about pot — firsthand") is spot-on. But mostly it's funny that a Las Vegas casino mogul has been part of a campaign paying millions to produce a series of moralizing ads for a state he doesn't live in that relies on a fear of marijuana that fewer and fewer Americans feel. Funnier still: The eight most recent statewide polls suggest all this money will likely go up in smoke after Floridians vote to ratify Amendment 2 this November.
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Nicolás Rivero
Contact: Nicolás Rivero