New ad pushes to legalize and tax marijuana. Love it or Hate it? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

New ad pushes to legalize and tax marijuana. Love it or Hate it? Leave your comments.

SAN DIEGO, CA (CNN) - A new ad is airing on San Diego cable stations that's so controversial two L.A. television stations are refusing to run it.

The ad claims one solution to California's budget deficit is to legalize and tax marijuana.

"Even parks could close due to California's budget crisis. But the governor and legislature are ignoring millions of Californians who want to pay taxes," says the pro-marijuana ad. "We're marijuana consumers."

The ad features a 58-year-old former state worker. It is now airing statewide and is paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project.

"What we have done is hand this very large market - its the largest cash crop in California - to unregulated criminals," said Bruce Mirkin.

The group believes pot would yield at least a billion dollars in new tax revenue each year.

"Taxes from California's marijuana industry could pay the salary of 20,000 teachers," the ad claims. 

The other side is interstitial.

"Let's say it brings in a billion, which is doubtful, the social cost is much higher than anything we bring in," said Steve Francis, a former mayoral candidate.  

Francis recently launched a web site called keepcomingback.com, which focuses on addiction.

"We also have people who are addicts," said Francis.

Their recent poll showed that 45 percent of Californians have smoked pot before.

"Most people who are drug users today, that have problems, that are doing things beyond marijuana started with marijuana," Francis.

People we talked with in Pacific Beach disagree and say the state needs the cash.

"If you look at the economics in Amsterdam, it's a windfall for them," said Mike Weil.

"I'm a person who has smoked many years and, at this point in my life, it hasn't done any harm," said Robert McPherson.

Click here to watch the ad. Then, tell us what you think about legalizing or not legalizing marijuana.

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