Supporters, foes of pot legalization post rival ads in NY Times

Sat Aug 2, 2014 8:26pm EDT
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By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Supporters and opponents of the federal ban on marijuana took to the pages of The New York Times this weekend with full-page color advertisements that highlight the fast-evolving debate in the United States about medical and recreational drug use.

The advertisements followed The New York Times' decision last month in a series of editorials to call for repealing the ban, the biggest U.S. newspaper to do so. Opinion polls show a majority of Americans now back the legalization of pot.

The ads are also designed to undercut pot's decades-old association with the counterculture and drop-outs by featuring people dressed in everyday working attire.

In an ad in Sunday's edition of the paper, Seattle-based Privateer Holdings features its medical marijuana website, which helps users to find pot dispensaries and to choose strains.

The ad depicts a woman jogger in Spandex gliding past a brownstone building as a crisply dressed professional man stands atop its steps with a bundle of papers under his arm.

"Ian chose an indica cannabis strain to relieve his MS symptoms," a bubble next to him says.

"While fighting cancer, Molly preferred a sativa cannabis," says the bubble next to the jogger.

Explaining the decision to use ordinary working people in the ad, Privateer Holdings' chief executive, Brendan Kennedy, said: "This product and this industry are still depicted as sub-culture or counter-culture. That's just not the reality."   Continued...

A poster from the Leafly advertisement that will run as a full-page advertisement in the August 3, 2014 edition of the New York Times is shown in this handout. REUTERS/Leafly/Handout via Reuters