Well-known prosecutor Joe Deters, basketball legend Oscar Robertson and singer Nick Lachey feature in three recent television commercials urging Ohioans to vote in favor of a marijuana legalization measure when they go to the polls on Nov. 3.
The ads have become an important part of the legalization push in what would be a major cannabis market.
A handful of 30-second spots airing throughout Ohio were placed by Midwest Communications Media in Columbus, the state’s capital. The Deters and Robertson ads premiered Oct. 27, while Lachey’s spot first aired Oct, 22.
Midwest Communications also aired pro-legalization ads in August featuring retired Cincinnati police captain Howard Rahtz, who worked for Deters.
The Columbus media company’s other clients include Kroger (the country’s largest supermarket chain by revenue), the American Dairy Association, AT&T and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Known as Ballot Issue 3, the legalization measure would approve the use, production and sale of both medical and recreational cannabis.
It would also grant exclusive growing rights to major investors in the legalization campaign (including Deters, Robertson and Lachey) who have collectively contributed roughly $20 million to help get the measure passed. These investors would own the 10 cultivation sites allowed under the law.
An analyses by the Center for Public Integrity found that, through Oct. 19, the Responsible Ohio PAC – which supports legalization – spent $3.75 million on nearly 8,200 television ads. Anti-legalization groups have spent $33,000 on 31 ads.