CBS Rejects Super Bowl Ad Promoting the Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Super Bowl
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
DYLAN GWINN

While much of the country seems to be softening its stance when it comes to the issue of medical marijuana, CBS is definitely not.

Proof of this has come in the form of the network’s decision to not air a commercial promoting the health benefits of medical marijuana during the Super Bowl.

According to USA Today Sports:

Acreage Holdings, which is in the cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing business, said it produced a 60-second ad that shows three people suffering from varying health issues who say their lives were made better by use of medical marijuana.

Acreage said its ad agency sent storyboards for the ad to the network and received a return email that said: ‘CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.’

A CBS spokesman informed Acreage that broadcasting standards do not allow the network to air cannabis-related advertising.

CBS’ rejection, however, did not come as a surprise to Acreage President George Allen.

“We’re not particularly surprised that CBS and/or the NFL rejected the content,” Allen said. “And that is actually less a statement about them and more we think a statement about where we stand right now in this country.

“One of the hardest parts about this business is the ambiguity that we operate within. We do the best we can to navigate a complex fabric of state and federal policy, much of which conflicts.”

Despite the fact that marijuana is legal in some form in 30 states plus the District of Columbia, the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

According to USA Today Sports:

An unfinished version of the 60-second ad introduces a Colorado boy who suffers from Dravet syndrome; his mother says her son would have dozens to hundreds of seizures a day and medical marijuana saved his life. A Buffalo man says he was on opioids for 15 years after three back surgeries and that medical marijuana gave him his life back. An Oakland man who lost part of his leg in military service says his pain was unbearable until medical marijuana.

Buying advertising for the Super Bowl is extremely expensive. CBS is charging companies $5.2 million on average, for a 30-second spot.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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