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Wed Jan 29, 2014, 03:16 PM

Marijuana Billboards At Super Bowl Will Pressure The NFL And Statehouses On Drug Policy

On Super Bowl Sunday, the face-off of Denver versus Seattle brings not just the issue of football to the fore. The match sees two teams play one another from the states that became the first to legalize recreational marijuana last year, in what may be the most prominent platform yet for marijuana reform ads.

At the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., five ads will be displayed with messages that protest the National Football League’s stance on marijuana, point out there are as many annual marijuana arrests as there are attendees at the game (750,000), and suggest marijuana is safer than both beer and football.

(see other billboards at link, below)

The Marijuana Policy Project, which developed the ads, has also circulated a Change.org petition calling on the NFL to recognize state laws and “stop punishing NFL players for using marijuana.” They planned to deliver the petition, which has garnered more than 12,000 signatures, in front of NFL headquarters in New York City Wednesday morning.

In the past, marijuana ads from sporting events have faced bans from advertising companies, and stringent resistance from marijuana opponents. What would have been the first major marijuana legalization ad at a major sporting event was pulled at the last minute from a jumbotron outside the NASCAR 400 in Indiana in July. Since then, Marijuana Policy Project Communications Director Mason Tvert says billboards have been featured at several sporting events, including a billboard protesting the NFL’s marijuana policy outside Denver’s Mile High Stadium in September.


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