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Colorado gets called out in political ads in states trying to legalize retail marijuana

Posted at 12:32 AM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 02:32:30-04

DENVER -- How do you feel when you find out someone's been talking behind your back?

Residents of Colorado, we're getting talked about behind our back!

Political ads in Arizona, California and Nevada reference Colorado when trying to convince voters why they should or should not vote yes on legalizing retail marijuana.

Five states have ballot issues to legalize retail marijuana: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Four other states have ballot issues dealing with medical marijuana: Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota.

"Regulate Marijuana Arizona" has an ad telling voters to say 'yes' to retail marijuana by referencing Colorado statistics that show positives since Colorado passed retail marijuana in 2012.

"What can Arizona learn from Colorado? We can tightly regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. According to the Colorado state government, marijuana use among high school students has not increased since legalization. At the same time, Colorado is generating millions in new tax dollars for public schools."

The 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey showed a percentage increase in marijuana use, but experts who reviewed the data determined that many more years of data is needed to be able to say if use is up or down.

As for the money for public schools, the ad shows "$40 million" on the screen as it states, "generating millions in new tax dollars for public schools." The first $40 million of the new tax goes to a program for public school construction, not for teacher salaries, books or computers.

The "No on Prop 205" campaign in Arizona also uses Colorado in its ad telling voters why to reject the proposal for retail marijuana. It cites money not going to schools and suggests edible marijuana products are marketed to kids, while showing images of edible pot products that mimic candy bar brands. It also uses teen pot use stats, as well as marijuana-related traffic death statistics.

An ad in Nevada against retail marijuana uses a dark-themed "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" song, while showing stats about higher emergency room visits and poison control calls. Those stats were from a Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics study, reviewed by the Denver Post and the New York Times.

A California ad against retail marijuana also references a "spike in emergency room visits in Colorado" from gummy candy and brownies. In July, Colorado law changed to require that gummy pot candy no longer resemble animals, fruits or people.

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