An anti-marijuana group chaired by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) purchased billboards in locations close to MetLife Stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday between two teams from states in which recreational marijuana is legal.
The move counters the purchase of five billboards ad around the stadium by a pro-marijuana group, the Marijuana Policy Project.
Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which describes itself as a “a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens,” bought the Super Bowl ad which will be “placed on digital and vinyl billboards throughout the New York-New Jersey area.” The ad reads, “Marijuana kills your drive. Don’t lose in the game of life.”
Kennedy recently challenged President Barack Obama’s assertion that marijuana is safer than alcohol, saying there are more dangerous strains of marijuana today.
“Marijuana use saps motivation, perseverance, and determination – the opposite of what it takes to win the Super Bowl,” Kennedy said in a statement “It is not a safe drug, especially for kids, and we need to reiterate the message to coaches, parents, players, and teens alike that it has no place in football.”
Former Obama administration adviser Dr. Kevin Sabet, who is also a chair, said that the “country is on the brink of creating a massive marijuana industry that will inevitably target teens and other vulnerable populations. Misconceptions about marijuana are becoming more and more prevalent.”
“It’s time to clear the smoke and get the facts out about this drug,” he said in a statement.
The group says it has four main goals:
• To inform public policy with the science of today’s potent marijuana.
• To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” — and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
• To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
• To have an adult conversation about reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.