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MPP's Pro-Marijuana Legalization Billboard Pulled from NASCAR Event

By Scott Gacek July 27, 2013 MPP's Pro-Marijuana Legalization Billboard Pulled from NASCAR Event
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Instead of purchasing their own ad to counter MPP's educational campaign that "Marijuana is Safer" than alcohol, Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. complains to owners of giant video billboard and has ad removed

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Fans attending this weekend’s NASCAR Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis won’t be greeted with a giant video ad promoting a “Marijuana  is Safer” campaign by the Marijuana Policy Project after the company who owns the billboard pulled the ad Friday.

“I certainly hope we get our $2,200 back,” Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert told the Indianapolis Star. “We think it’s rather hypocritical for these folks to pull an ad highlighting the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol, yet welcome with open arms the copious amount of alcohol use taking place on the premises.”

After anti-drug crusaders from the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. found out about the advertisement, which suggests marijuana as a safer alternative to beer and directs viewers to an educational page with information about marijuana, they complained to the owners of the giant video board, Graize Media, who pulled the ad.

“Grazie Media does not, in any way, shape or form, support the use of marijuana nor the promotion of illegal drugs at a family event,” Graize Media said in a statement.

“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for their swift action towards the removal of this ad.”

Advocates say the ad was not promoting illegal drugs, it was promoting the legalization of marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol, pointing out that there is no shortage of alcohol advertising at the NASCAR event.

“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, who paid for the ad spots.

“If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’ why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness.”

“Our goal was to make this weekend’s event as educational as it will be enjoyable,” Tvert said. “We simply want those adults who will be enjoying a beer or two at the race this weekend to think about the fact that marijuana is an objectively less harmful product.”

The video ad, which resembles a beer commercial, compares alcohol and marijuana, pointing out that marijuana doesn’t contain calories, cause hangovers, or promote reckless, violent behavior.

“If you’re an adult who enjoys a good beer,” says the ad, “there’s a similar product you might want to know about.”

The video ends with the tagline  ”Less harmful than alcohol, and time to treat it that way,” and provides a link to MarijuanaIsSafer.org, which provides an introduction to marijuana, as well as information on marijuana’s impact on the consumer and on the community.

“We think it’s critical that the public recognize that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” Tvert, the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, said Thursday.  “We wanted to reach out to an audience that clearly appreciates that adults should be able to use beer and alcohol responsibly. They should also be able to use marijuana responsibly – since it’s less harmful.”

The ad is the latest installment of MPP’s “Marijuana is Safer” campaign, which helped lead Colorado’s Amendment 64 to victory last November, legalizing the possession, use and retail sales of marijuana for adults 21 or older.

The ad was scheduled to appear 72 times over the three day weekend, where up to 600,000 fans are expected to attend the race.

You can watch the ad below.

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  • DaddyR

    Horsepuckey!!!!!!!!

  • ian

    Drug Free America Foundation spreading ignorance.

    • Mike

      Maybe we should start our own foundation — Stupid Free America.

  • bend over

    http://www.graziemedia.com/?page_id=57 contact the company and let them know they suck.

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  • Jeff he Author

    This is a disgrace and a huge slap in the face of the First Amendment. How else are we going to achieve real progress and change when lobby groups like DFAF make it impossible to engage the country in conversation?

    Maybe the silver lining in all this is that DFAF’s actions will draw the ire of free speech groups and people will go to the website anyway thanks to all the articles written about this. Not to mention the video ad has been posted to YouTube, so it’ll spread widely.

    • MichaelFarese

      Doubt it… every group on the planet tries to stifle their adversaries… it is the ad company, Grazie Media, who are to blame.

      Not enough balls to stand up to these people and stand up for free speech.

  • DICKENS

    Alcohol has been listed as the most dangerous drug and in this “pulled” commercial it’s suggest people use a safer alternative marijuana. Marijuana is a homeopathic medicine, why would Drug Free America Foundation rather people use Alcohol(a dangerous drug) instead of marijuana(a natural remedy)? DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION NEEDS TO BE DEFUNDED IMMEDIATELY.

    • LocalH

      Please don’t call cannabis a “homeopathic” medicine. It’s patently untrue, and since homeopathy is scientifically bunk, we don’t need people brushing the quite real and healthy effects of cannabis with any homeopathic scams.

      • MichaelFarese

        Agreed. Natural, yes. Homeopathic, not so much.

        The National Cancer Institute has multiple studies that show that cannabinoids prevent the growth of tumors… yeah, you heard me… pot cures cancer. Your move Drug-Free America Dummies.

        I can provide a link to the article, but it’s on the NCI website and it’s easily located via Google.

        • http://www.incomepitbull.com/ Wade Shuler

          I wouldn’t go so far as to say cures cancer. I would be happy to hear that it really does cure it. However, the only proof and fact, is that is has been known to cause tumors to shrivel up. They claim it was as if it caused the tumor to attack itself. However, I don’t think anything officially has proven it cures cancer. Though it would be awesome if in 10 years, we find out it really does cure it. It does have benefits in helping fight cancer, but stating it cures it is just not proven at this time.

      • DICKENS

        ( LocalH ) I apologize about writing marijuana is a homeopathic medicine, I should of wrote marijuana’s a natural medicine and safer choice than alcohol. It’s hard to classify marijuana with other groups of things, maybe marijuana should just be classified by itself.

  • Not Surprised

    they took it down because they know that if people learned about the truth, alcohol would lose too much money. just like any other company that cannabis can shut down easily.

    • Miranda Leigh

      just like the pharma business making all your pills, the police unions wanting to make money off putting innocents in jail, the private jails wanting us spending our lives under their roofs…. they’re not for the good of the public. they’re for the good for the good of their pockets. these are the true reasons marijuana is illegal, money being the biggest reason.

  • Delgwando

    And yet they will continue to advertise alcohol and tobacco. I swear this country is made up of a bunch of idiots.

    • wilson502

      And yet the idiots continue to breed like rabbits.

      • http://www.incomepitbull.com/ Wade Shuler

        Who in turn have more idiots.. It’s like 9-1 around here…

  • MichaelFarese

    They should have not promoted the ad would appear before hand… that just gave them time to get it taken down.

    It should have been more of an ambush. Maybe next time they’ll realize that.

    • kevin_hunt

      MPP has already gotten more free publicity than the ads would have cost them in the first place. Now they don’t have to pay Grazie Media for the billboards.

  • Neal Feldman

    ““This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and
    promotes illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,”
    Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said in a statement.”

    So this Reefer Madness ditz is claiming cannabis is NOT safer than alcohol?

    LMFAO!!!!

    • kevin_hunt

      Alcohol: 20,000 deaths per year.

      Marijuana: Zero

  • Patrick

    “Irresponsible marketing?” You know what’s irresponsible marketing? Playing beer commercials next to car commercials.

  • grieving mom

    These people are infuriating. I lost my 16 year old son to alcohol poisoning in 2009 first time he tried it. If they care so much about a drug free America they really need to put they’re money and they’re time where they’re big mouth is. Go ahead show us how moral you idiots are, stand up against the alcohol companies, tell them to state the real facts about how dangerous alcohol is, why doesn’t Drug Free America you let them advertise on TV? Why does DFA let them ADVERTISE ANYWHERE? DFA should make sure beer is not sold at NASCAR, make sure! Make sure everyone knows alcohol is a poison that can kill you. DFA should make sure they mention that no one has ever died from smoking too much pot and then explain why it’s worse than alcohol. Let’s see a list of who funds your organization, I’d love to know how much of your funding comes from the alcohol companies. I do not want a response about being”sorry for my loss” My son would be alive if he’d tried to smoke pot instead of the legal drug alcohol.

  • Little Ricky

    Red, White and Blue Bud Kills..
    Green Bud Saves Lives….

  • Buzzby19491

    Now that their ad has appeared for free on every internet news outlet, I hope the MPP gets their $2,200 back. What a great investment on their part! It’s a boon to see the “family-friendly” alcohol industry take such a hit.

  • Miranda Leigh

    I live in a race town (NASCAR) and I would MUCH RATHER see those assholes running around high instead of drunk. Hey, maybe I wouldn’t call them assholes if they consumed more marijuana and less alcohol.

    Our drunk driving incidents go THROUGH THE ROOF when the races come to town. ACCIDENTS happen to the point that all the surrounding ER’s ARE FULL. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is ever present ON THE CAMPGROUND for everyone to see.

    We have police, volunteers and fire fighters/paramedics present at every entrance, exit and all major roadways and someone still ends up dead every year.

    ANYONE WHO KNOWS NASCAR, know the alcohol needs to be cut back even if marijuana is not advocated or allowed. Drug Free American Foundation had a small point – but it needs to be expanded and FOUGHT FOR.

    & yes, they should get their money back. It was not their fault the ad was pulled after it was originally approved and thus paid for.

    PATHETIC PATHETIC PATHETIC DECISION MAKING ON THE PART OF “THE MAN” IN CHARGE.