Men's Wearhouse Founder George Zimmer for Legal Pot in California

You're gonna like the way California looks with marijuana as a legal substance. George Zimmer guarantees it.

The Yes on 19 campaign to legalize marijuana in the Golden State, via the Proposition 19 ballot measure that California voters will consider next week, is airing its first TV ad of the election cycle, and they're doing it, in part, with money from George Zimmer of Men's Wearhouse.

In the ad, retired San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara warns that the war on marijuana has failed and that Prop. 19 would help law enforcers focus on violent crime. The campaign has committed several hundred thousand dollars to air it and hopes to raise more to expand the purchase of air time. It will air first in the Los Angeles market.

At the end of the ad, Zimmer's name appears in the disclaimer. "Yes on 19, Tax Cannabis 2010. Sponsoered by S.K. Seymour LLC, a medical cannabis provider, DBA Oaksterdam University, a cannabis educator with support from George Zimmer."

Zimmer is one of a few big-time donors known as sympathetic to marijuana legalization. Others are George Soros and Peter Lewis, the chairman of Progressive Insurance. The Prop. 19 campaign has been waiting for much of the election cycle to see whether such big donors would support them.

Zimmer donated $50,000 to the campaign last week, according to Yes on 19's financial disclosures with the California Secretary of State's office. Lewis donated $69,500 the week before. Another donor, Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital, donated $70,000 last week.

There is "lots of interest" in supporting the campaign among big donors, according to a spokesman.

Internal polling currently finds Prop. 19 passing, though respondents polled by live interviewers appear to be skeptical. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Prop. 19 failing 53 - 43 percent in early October.

See the new ad below:


Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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