Dark Money Pot Attack!

A richly funded series of campaign ads lauding Sean Haugh for his stance in favor of the legalization of marijuana and explicitly attacking Kay Hagan—but not Thom Tillis—for opposing legalization have been airing all over the websphere for the last couple of days. Funded by the GOP-leaning American Future Fund, the ads feature attractive college-age spokespersons and seem designed both to peel liberals away from voting for Hagan and scare conservative libertarians off from Haugh.

According to the National Journal article that broke the story, the slickly produced ads are mostly appearing on Hulu but there is also a YouTube channel devoted to the campaign, as well as a website.

The ads don’t contain any falsities—of course, Haugh does favor legalizing marijuana—but by their emphasis and omission of context, the actual message of the campaign is distorted. For example, the official campaign slogan—“Stop All War”—is eschewed in favor of “More Weed, Less War.” And the argument in favor of legalization is reduced to the implication that getting high is fun. No mention of the failed war on drugs, the wasteful and mean-spirited incarceration of millions of non-violent drug users in the USA, and the hundreds of billions of dollars in annual loot that prohibition affords the transnational criminal drug distributors. 

Be that as it may, Haugh welcomed the ads. “It has always been my policy to be grateful for any support from anywhere. Whoever promotes my message accurately in any context whatsoever is doing me a kindness—even the haters who use it too attack me, if they print what I actually said, I am fine with it. My only goals now are to spread my libertarian message and increase my vote totals.”


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