TV Ad War to Boost Florida Legalization Bid?

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The heated gubernatorial battle in Florida could give efforts to legalize medical marijuana this November a huge boost, albeit unintentionally.

Current Gov. Rick Scott is looking to spend $100 million in television advertising for his re-election bid, while his opponent could shell out as much as $50 million to reach voters via TV, according to the Miami Herald.

Strategists believe the spending war will drive up the price for all political commercials ahead of the November election, including those that support or oppose medical marijuana.

The legalization effort, which is being funded in part by Orlando attorney John Morgan, now has a distinct advantage in this regard: It has $20 million in TV ad time reserved.

The opposition, on the other hand, might not be able to afford many (if any) television spots in the current climate. A spokesperson for the opposition groups Drug Free American Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs said described the anti-medical marijuana campaign as “word of mouth” and “a grass-roots effort.”

“In an environment such as that, message-penetration can be challenging for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money,” Kyle Roberts, president of Smart Media Group, a political ad-buying firm, told the Herald.

Medical marijuana advocates also have another advantage: According to the most recent poll, 78% of Floridians currently support legalizing MMJ.