Beer-loving NASCAR fans are in for quite the surprise when they enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 this weekend.
A pro-marijuana legalization ad — laced with anti-beer and alcohol messaging — will play 72 times over three days on a huge screen by the race’s entrance gates, which marks a first in sports history.
Although a recent study by The Partnership at Drugfree.org found that most Americans would accept the legalization of marijuana, 80% of 1,603 polled are anti-marijuana marketing. They don’t want to see ads for pot.
In March, the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force suggested that the Colorado legislature “prohibit all mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors (billboards, television, radio, direct mail, etc.)” but all for “advertising in adult-oriented newspapers and magazines.” Amendment 64 deals with the state’s cannabis policy.
But the Marijuana Policy Project, which made the ad, thinks that its messaging is necessary.
“We think it’s critical that the public recognize that marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” spokesperson Mason Tvert told USA Today.
The ad notes that marijuana results in “no calories,” “no hangovers,” and “no violence” — showing a man and woman cuddling as they wash dishes together.
The spot cost $350 to make and $2,200 to post during the race. Grazie Media charged the Marijuana Policy Project the “non-profit” rate.
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.