Mom the New Face of Marijuana Legalization

Forget Bob Marley – Washington mom Kate Pippinger is the new face of the movement to legalize marijuana.

Pippinger appears in a new 30-second ad by New Approach Washington, a Washington state group that supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana. And she differs from many marijuana activists who have come before her – she doesn’t even smoke pot.

“I don’t like it personally,” Pippinger says right off the bat, “but it’s time for a conversation about legalizing marijuana.”

The ad calls for the regulation of marijuana distribution, including background checks for retailers, penalties for selling to minors and taxing sales to fund education and health care.

The spot is part of a $1 million  ad campaign by New Approach to pass Initiative 502 in Washington,  a measure that would  license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession for people over 21, remove state  criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes, tax marijuana sales and earmark marijuana-related revenues.

Yet noticeably absent from the ad is any mention of the ballot initiative – a deliberate decision made by New Approach  to start a conversation with undecided voters, according to Alison Holcomd,  campaign director.

“There hasn’t been much of conversation for people who may not like marijuana, may not use marijuana but see that the current approach has failed,” Holcomd said. “We want this ad to start that conversation with them, instead of continuing the polarized arguments that we’ve seen in the past. ”

The ad premiers Wednesday in the Seattle media market and will run until Aug. 25.

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