NASCAR fans were bombarded with hundreds of alcohol ads over the weekend without batting an eye, but apparently a single advertisement celebrating cannabis as a safer alternative was too much for people to handle and had to be pulled before too many people could see it.
As we reported last week, the Marijuana Policy Project had rented out a video billboard to place outside this past weekend's Brickyard 400 race in Indianapolis to air a pro-cannabis advertisement on repeat the entire weekend. The billboard wasn't on NASCAR property. But after running for a few hours on Friday, the ad was pulled completely.
Grazie Media, which operates the billboard, decided to pull the advertisement after receiving complaints from the Drug Free America Foundation - which interestingly did not have any complaints about the booze ads everywhere else.
"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."
After their complaint, Grazie Media pulled the advertisement that the company had both approved and taken money to run prior to the weekend.
"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," said Vanessa Wojtala, CEO and director of programming at Grazie Media, in a statement.
Bullshit, Vanessa. Your name was getting bad press and you had to make a statement. Your company had no problem taking money from the pro-marijuana lobby when you didn't think your neck was on the line.
Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project was a bit more tactful in his response to Wojtala:
"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? " Tvert wrote in a statement. "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."
Drug Free America wasn't the only vocal opposition. Earlier today, Bishop Brad Allen went on Fox news to bitch and moan about the advertisement even though it's clear he doesn't really know the first damn thing about what went on.
"I have to first tell you this ad is certainly outright fabrication, misleading and Marijuana Policy Project should be sued for false advertisement," Allen said on Fox and Friends this morning. "What a horrible thing to do and NASCAR claiming that they missed this. We are really wondering if they could have been in cahoots with this advertisement. Very, very bad - very, very bad thing to happen."