Recently, television stations have been airing an ad from anti-medical marijuana group No on 2 titled "It's Nuts." The ad claims, among other things, that voting yes on Amendment 2 will legalize pot and that kids will be able to get weed on their own "without their parents' permission."
In response, United for Care has sent a cease-and-desist letter to every television station that is broadcasting the ad, claiming the 30 second ad is misleading and false.
Federal law says that the FCC has the responsibility to prevent commercials that spew illegitimate claims from airing.
The ad shows different people with concerned looks on their faces telling viewers that voters should not vote yes because Amendment 2 "is a trick."
"It's not about compassion," one man in the ad says. "It's just about legalizing pot smoking."
The ad goes on to say that medical marijuana would not be "just for serious diseases" and that there would be "no parental control."
"The latest No on 2 advertisement showcases the 'greatest hits' of all the falsehoods medical marijuana opponents have perpetuated throughout the campaign," Ben Pollara, campaign manager at United for Care, said via a news release on the cease-and-desist letter. "If medical marijuana opponents want to try to scare Floridians and run a completely false advertisement, they will be held accountable."
Pollara goes on to point out that the ad features all the talking points from the No on 2 folks since they began their campaign -- particularly the angle of Amendment 2 leading to full-on pot legalization and easy access for children.
"The [ad] showcases the 'greatest hits' of all the falsehoods medical marijuana opponents have perpetuated throughout the campaign," Pollara says. "If medical marijuana opponents want to try to scare Floridians and run a completely false advertisement, they will be held accountable."
Pollara says that, since the No on 2 campaign won't act responsibly, maybe the television stations airing the ad will.
"By law, television broadcasters have a public obligation to refuse to run demonstrably false advertisements," Pollara added. "We strongly believe that No on 2's most recent ad violates this standard."
Among some of the things the letter says:
"It's not about compassion; it just legalizes pot smoking."
Amendment 2 explicitly states: "Nothing in this section authorizes the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient." Moreover it states: "Nothing in this section shall affect laws relating to non-medical use, possession, production or sale of marijuana."
"Kids can legally get it without their parents' permission." "No parental control."
As Politifact stated in its May 20, 2014 fact check on this topic, Florida minors would not be able to get a recommendation for medical marijuana from a physician because, "currently, a parent or guardian must provide consent for medical treatment for a minor, except in emergencies or other unusual circumstances, such as when the Department of Children and Family Services must get involved."
One of No on 2's first ads featured these same talking points. But that ad, titled "Devil in the Details," was made for the internet, where FCC regulations have no power.
You can see the full cease-and-desist letter below:
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
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