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

SEATTLE Sat Aug 2, 2014 8:26pm EDT

1 of 2. 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.

Credit: Reuters/Leafly/Handout via Reuters

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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 Leafly.com, 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."

Last month, New York became the 23rd state to allow medical marijuana.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington state became the first in the nation to approve state-sanctioned recreational marijuana for consumers aged 21 and older.

However, Saturday's edition of The New York Times carried an ad from a group opposed to pot legalization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and allied organizations.

It featured a suit-and-tie-clad executive leaning over a conference-room table with a photo of a grinning, bandana-wearing hippy superimposed over his face. The word "Perception" is next to his flowing hair. The suit has the word "Reality."

"The legalization of marijuana means ushering in an entirely new group of corporations whose primary source of revenue is a highly habit-forming product," the advertisement says.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Gareth Jones)

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Comments (3)
llewho wrote:
If you have a hard time braking a coffee habit or a drinking habit then I advice. That you not mess with anything you have an addictive personality. Pot is no more addictive than coffee and less addictive than tobacco or alcohol. Goes back to the old joke of a young man asking an older gentleman if it is true that if you don’t drink, smoke, or fool around with women you will live longer… old man responds no but its going to seem like it.

Aug 02, 2014 11:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
alwaysskeptic wrote:
The biggest benefit of legalizing cannabis is crime reduction. The key is the price of pot. Currently WA & CO are taxing pot at such high rates, and regulating the cultivation with expensive hurdles, that the price of pot is higher than the black market. If this continues, the black market will continue to flourish, along with all of it’s crime.

Aug 03, 2014 7:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
NealFeldman wrote:
Cannabis and driving

Here’s a list of studies and research concerning marijuana and driving, many were funded by various national governments:

“Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. Below is a summary of some of the existing data.”

“There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”
REFERENCE: Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Report No. DOT HS 808 065, K. Terhune, 1992.
“Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
REFERENCE: U.S. Department of Transportation study, 1993

“Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution”
REFERENCE: University of Adelaide study, 1995
“There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.”
REFERENCE: Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies; Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232, A. Smiley, 1999.

“Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a ‘change’ from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect ‘impairment’ in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk.”
REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division), 2000.

“At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven”.

REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo, 2002.
“Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. This in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk”
REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 2002.

“The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.”
REFERENCE: Franjo Grotenhermen, MD and Ethan Russo, MD (Haworth Press 2002).
“There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone.”
REFERENCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention 32(5): 613-622. Longo, MC; Hunter, CE; Lokan, RJ; White, JM; and White, MA. (2000)

“Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009
“Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.”
“No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,”
REFERENCE: Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010
“20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.”
Kindly google: “why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers”
“The study found that those with a blood alcohol level of 0.12% were over 30 times more likely to get into a serious accident than someone who’s consumed any amount of cannabis. .. The least risky drug seemed to be cannabis and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.”
REFERENCE: Accident Analysis & Prevention; Volume 59, October 2013, Pages 346–356

Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk:
“There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.”
REFERENCE: British Medical Journal, 1999; M. Bates and T. James Blakely

Aug 03, 2014 8:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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