Five billboards with pro-marijuana messages have appeared along New Jersey highways leading to MetLife Stadium, the venue hosting Sunday’s Super Bowl. One of the billboards reads: “MARIJUANA: Safer than alcohol…and football.”
One billboard says nearly as many people were arrested for marijuana in 2012 (749,824) as have attended the past 10 Super Bowls combined (751,203).
The signs were purchased by the Marijuana Policy Project, CBS New York reports. The group’s spokesman, Morgan Fox, said the billboards highlight what the group feels is the National Football League’s (NFL) hypocrisy with its beer sponsors. “The same organization has no problem actively advertising a much more dangerous substance, particularly in a relatively family environment,” Fox said.
The group wants the NFL to stop punishing football players from using marijuana, particularly for medicinal purposes. Fox noted that the two Super Bowl teams this year come from Colorado and Washington state, both of which have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. “These are two teams that both come from states that have just made marijuana legal for adults and are taxing it and regulating it similarly to alcohol,” he said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league would consider allowing players to use medical marijuana in an effort to treat concussions and head injuries if it were deemed necessary.
In September, the Marijuana Policy Project posted a billboard across from Denver’s football stadium, urging the NFL to “Stop Driving Players to Drink.” Referring to Colorado’s new marijuana legalization law, the ad noted, “A safer choice is now legal (here).” The billboard, which measured 48 feet by 14 feet, contained a picture of a football leaning against a foaming glass of beer. It was posted in front of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, a day before the Denver Broncos hosted the first NFL regular season game of the year.