Nevada: Anti-Marijuana Pollsters Stoop to New Low

For those of you not aware of the situation, the Marijuana Policy Project is pushing a statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Nevada. Someone out there is doing some push polling which provides blatantly dishonest information about the initiative. According to an e-mail from Rob Kampia, he doesn’t yet know who is behind the push polling effort.

To listen to the bogus message, click here or here. From their state issue blog:

CRCM recently obtained a recording of a telephone “poll” that Nevadans are hearing when they answer their phones. The automated “pollster” lies to voters about what CRCM’s initiative would do, claiming that it would “make marijuana available in grocery stores and convenience stores similar to buying a pack of cigarettes” … when in fact the initiative would ban the sale of marijuana in convenience stores, grocery stores, dance halls, and gas stations. You can read the relevant section of the initiative below.

Push polls don’t provide useful information, and in this case any results obtained can only be used to provide misinformation to the public and the press. These sorts of amaturish polls are not conducted by any serious political consultant, and are considered highly unethical by the American Association of Political Consultants — an organization of which I’m proudly a member. Anyone subordinate who conducted any such polling on any of my campaigns would be immediately terminated — and I would quit working for any campaign which insisted on such unethical behavior.

I’d like to see the Nevada media pick up on this issue and loudly expose whomever is conducting this dishonest survey. This sort of behavior makes even politicians look bad.

22 Comments
  1. obviously everyone here is against this kind of gross misinformation, but i have to question your assertion that “These sorts of amaturish polls are not conducted by any serious political consultant” – the truth is, the war on drugs in this country has *always* been based on misinformation – about the effects of drugs (especially marijuana and ecstasy), about the effectiveness of the “war” – i see it as a small step from there to this kind of “polling.”

  2. Stranger,

    I agree. My angle on this was that we may now have is either a pollster acting in such a manner which could get him booted from professional organization, or someone who is so scummy they could never even get in such an organization. This would provide a new angle for media coverage — exposing the liars for what they are.

    Alternately, the poll could have been pushed by the DEA (they’ve been running commercials and other disinformation campaigns). If the government ran (or paid for) such a shady polling operation, then it is even a bigger story for the media.

    Either way (or with some other alternatives I can imagine), exposing the prohibitionists as liars on this issue will help expose their even bigger lies that everyone is so used to.

  3. This is what we’re up against. And we have an apathetic public that doesn’t give enough of a shit to smell the bullshit.

    It’s very, very depressing.

  4. Oh my god! Look to the right… “Our Democracy Is Broken…” WTF?? This thing is for people that want the ultimate incumbent protection act – publicly funded elections. It’s probably an organization founded by incumbents. Go there and read the rubbish they spew! And it’s only going to cost us $6.00. LOL. And if you are gullible enough to beleive that another government program is going to cost what they say it will and that it will work the way it is proposed, I have some swampland. Honestly, Stephen… What in the holy hell are you smoking, putting up such vomit? This IS VERY ALARMING!

  5. DD–It’s a paid ad (I had nothing to do with it), but I’m consider writing a trash piece on them, tho.

  6. How much money are you getting from them? Do the trash piece, for god’s sake man! The purpose of that organization is to draw in well intended, but ignorant people and get them to aid and assist (probably globalist) encumbents.

    In fact, how does your ad revenue break down, if I may pry?

  7. You are going to have a really hard time to get the major media to do a story on this. They don’t care if they are lying if it suits there political purposes. Of course if it does not meet the political ideology then they would be all over it.

    The people doing the ad only care about switching peoples votes and attitudes be it through a lie or any other way of doing it. By the time they are exposed and the voter knows about it, it will likely be to late as the vote on the initiative will likely already happened.

    You just can’t believe much of any ads today. That’s sad but true, especially since many are factual and would be of help. Most people probably believe all the ads or none of them. They seem to be after the people who believe anything that they hear.

  8. I’m still getting nothing but marijuana ads. Somebody want to give me a clue what you all are talking about?

  9. Light me up a phat spliff, gimme that ganga goodness… please allow me to enter into buddha bliss. Ahhh don’t mind me I will not make war… as long as you do not mess with my hemp haven!!!

    War on drugs? It’s a catch phrase for the ignorant U.S. masses…

    It has not yet begun here in the U.S. but it has been a long hard fight down in central and south america. You can blame the U.S. policies and government for the villagers and non-military casualties in the region! Take a look at IndyMedia and see where the “rebels” in central america are heading… we might want to consider moving out of border states!

  10. Terry:

    Most reporters I know are sympathetic on either the drug war in general or at least medical marijuana. Even the ones who’ve expressed their opinion to me in opposition to marijuana legalization provided fair coverage. Most of these interviews have been in Alabama, and I expect reporters in Vegas to be even more inclined to provide fair coverage on the issue.

  11. The thing is, the drug war isn’t our killer app. Eminent domain and personal responsibility are. Anyways, more on drugs, from a letter I sent to the Dallas Morning News about the violence in the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo and the resulting prosperity in the trans-Rio Texas city of Laredo:

    “There’s an easy solution to the violence on both sides of the river caused by the Zetas and other drug cartels, a solution that would also save hundreds of millions, if not billions, of taxpayer dollars: legalizing drugs. A little thought and common sense is all it takes to realize that drugs only lead to violence because of their illegality: there are no Colombian coffee cartels or Chilean copper cartels, because cartels are not a viable business model for trading a legal product.”

  12. Stephen

    I think you are right that a number of reporters are sympathtic to medical marijuana, but are the companies they work for sympathetic and do they have the will to go against the current political people in power. Just a question.

  13. “Who did it” is of interest, but more importantly, why? Someone has to profit from a negative campaign, otherwise, they wouldnt do it. I don’t see the religious zealots doing it, they already have a platform. They can spread their message all day long, and they do. My bets are on Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and Big Alcohol. They are already in bed with the government, so its natural to assume the DEA could be behind it, but everyone already knows the DEA’s opinion… So, subtract the knowns and there you are. They have the cash, they have the resources, and they have the motive. I think its shitty that the Holy Trinity of pills, cigs and booze would stand in the way when they can attempt to profit from it. Cigs are spiraling downward, nobody likes them anymore and kids are smart enough to stay away. They need something new, a bone to throw at the US citizens. I say it should be pot. At the very least, it would offer the illusion of freedom.

  14. We live in a free country, correct? Can someone give me ONE good reason why I’m not free to smoke marijuana? I mean, I totally understand why I am not free to drive 90 miles an hour on the freeway without getting pulled over, or why I am not free to steal another’s property, or not drive while intoxicated- because it puts other people at risk or others can get hurt.

    I challenge anyone to give me one valid reason for the illegalization of smoking pot. I don’t think a valid argument exists. I think the USA needs to drop the “Land of the Free” slogan that we so proudly proclaim to the world. Sure, we may have it better than most other countries in the world, but I don’t believe we are a “Land of the Free.” If we were, I’d be free to smoke a joint every now and then in the comfort of my home because I enjoy it-and no one is any worse off because I’m doing it.

    One valid reason…

  15. If cannabis were legal, America would be a much better place. Fewer prisoners, a reduction in violent crime, and a healthier/cheaper product would all occur within a very short timeframe. A large expansion of hemp products/fuels would also provide consumers with environmentally friendly alternatives to many synthetic/non-renewable products.
    Also, a remedy to a large portion of public distrust of law enforcement could come about with the legalization of cannabis. Since about half of all drug arrests are for cannabis possession, many negative public/police interactions could be avoided if cannabis use wasn’t a crime. A fair amount of police corruption could probably be rooted out as well. After all, when was the last time a bootlegger/moonshiner paid off a cop? Probably back during Prohibition. And I bet you’re as tired as I am of hearing about marijuana being smuggled in from Mexico. That crappy brick-weed wouldn’t stand a chance when put up next to good ol’ American homegrown. :)

  16. Stephen, while it would be nice to think that any member of the American Association of Political Consultants whose subordinates engaged in seedy behavior would terminate the so and so, to suggest that is the case is absurd.

    It’s to suggest that AAPC membership confers distinction, honor, etc..patent nonsense.

    While push polling has earned its’ dubious place in political lore, it hardly stands alone, hardly is more seedy than the bulk of D and R political advertising on television, much of it produced by the esteemed members of AAPC, funded by their highly ethical counterparts of the political fundraising association, and eventually, dare I say it, even nominated for POLLIES.

    We might not like the push polls against some clients, but not only is that politics, but that’s free speech.

  17. John — with the exception of unquestionably and blatantly dishonest information, as in this case. This one isn’t in the gray area.

    I’m not talking about a Willie Horton ad, or stretching the truth a bit about a voting record. At the level or this ad, I’d argue that the AAPC would be forced to dissociate someone.

  18. I listened to it, and checked to see if the thing was horrible. It is misleading, but it is not new, and doesn’t surprise, especially when we live in a nation of voters which tolerates Willie Horton ads (and I say fine, that’s free speech too, and I won’t stand in the way of voters who choose to be ignorant, bigoted asses).

    Plenty of AAPC members, in good standing, will help the vigorous campaign to stop the MPP effort in Nevada and they’ll do it by appealing to ignorant, bigoted asses—after all, most AAPC members feed off the kind of campaigns which brought us the Drug War…indeed, few efforts this side of gay bashing have been as lucrative for our profession.

    I know you don’t take gigs like that slimy effort against liberty in Nevada. My point is that not all members of our profession are fine Southern Gentlemen, nor even as good as this yankee.

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