A NASCAR contractor put the brakes on an ad that touted pot as the “new beer” at the Brickyard 400.
The 30-second ad, which was made by the Marijuana Policy Project, a legalization advocacy group, ran on a portable Jumbotron outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a few times before it was pulled on Friday. The three-day event usually has an an attendance of about 150,000. The pro-pot ad was supposed to run on a continuous loop all weekend and was scheduled to appear 72 times during the race activities.
Pot is illegal in Indiana.
The ad embedded above calls beer fans’ attention to a “similar product” but without the calories or serious health problems. Pot doesn’t result in hangovers or violent behavior either, the commercial explains. It concludes that marijuana is “less harmful than alcohol and time to treat it that way.”
The ad was pulled when anti-drug groups complained, the New York Daily News reports. “After the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. found out about the ad, they complained to Grazie Media, the company that owns the large screen located at the entrance to the raceway, who announced on Friday that they were pulling the spot.” A company spokesman it does not advocate marijuana at family events.
A spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project said in response that “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 copeus amount of alcohol use taking place on the premises.” The group plans to seek a refund for the $2,200 it paid to get on the Jumbotron.
According to the SportsGrid website, prior to the decision by the media company to take down the ad, “NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are powerless to to do anything about the ads, since the JumboTron is not on track property.”
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World disputes the notion that marijuana is harmless: “The immediate effects of taking marijuana include rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety… Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.”
Do you consider marijuana the new beer?