A pro-marijuana video advertisement sparked intense controversy over the weekend after it was displayed at a NASCAR race. While the spot was inevitably pulled, the 30-second clip's initial inclusion has led to some intense critiques of both the racing authority and the advertising agency that allowed it.
The commercial, produced by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a pro-cannabis organization, compared alcohol to marijuana, dubbing the latter much safer and healthier.
This morning, Bishop Brad Allen appeared on "Fox & Friends," where he questioned whether the group that made the ad could be sued for false advertising and whether NASCAR, too, should be held responsible for its role in allowing its placement on a jumbotron.
Allen, who is an advocate for substance abuse recovery, claimed that the benefits touted in the clip are misleading.
"I have to first tell you this ad is certainly outright fabrication, misleading and Marijuana Policy Project should be sued for false advertisement," the preacher said. "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."
Watch Allen speak out, below:
The advertisement, which was apparently scheduled to air 72 times on screens at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the weekend's Brickyard 400 race, only ended up airing a few times on Friday before it was axed, according to the Huffington Post.
From the MPP's perspective, the ad's placement was ground-breaking in that the placement was billed as the first time that a pro-weed ad was displayed during a major sporting event.
"This is quite possibly the first time that there's ever been an educational ad regarding marijuana policy run at a major sporting event," the MPP's Mason Tvert told WISH-TV.
The ads were slated to appear on an independently-owned jumbotron that is managed by Grazie Media. CEO Vanessa Wojtala said that the three-day ad was pulled, as it was not "a great fit for the NASCAR audience." Certainly, this leads one to wonder how the MPP ad was accepted in the first place. The organization, of course, is frustrated over the change-of-heart -- and even charges that there is some hypocrisy.
"We think it's irresponsible to prevent discussion about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol while simultaneously promoting the use of alcohol at this family type event," Tvert added.
The group paid $2,200 to place the ad and an additional $350 to produce it.
Watch the ad, below, which claims that marijuana has no calories and is not linked to violence, among other supposed benefits:
In the end, the decision to pull the ad was rooted in family values, although critics of the decision claim that the presence of alcohol at the event is hypocritical. What do you think?
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/MPP
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