A provocative television ad in support of legislation to reduce penalties for simple marijuana possession in Texas began airing Tuesday in the state’s four largest media markets.
The ad is scheduled to air on CNN, ESPN, and Fox News Channel across Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin through Thursday at midnight, the deadline by which the House must approve HB 507 in order for it to advance to the Senate.
You can watch the ad below, or online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E83Uv4VtpsE.
In the ad, Russell Jones, a Texas Hill Country resident who served 10 years as a police officer and narcotics detective in California, highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol and says limited law enforcement resources should not be wasted on arresting and jailing people for using the less harmful substance.
“I know of no instance in my entire career where someone was acting out under the influence of marijuana,” Jones says. “People under the influence of alcohol are much more problematic.
"Law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time than arrest people for marijuana possession," Jones says in the ad. "They need to be there to protect the public, to respond to crimes such as robbery, burglaries, rape, and murders.”
The ad cites annual arrest reports produced by the Texas Department of Public Safety that show more than 360,000 arrests for marijuana possession were made in Texas from 2009-2013.