The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol unveiled their new marijuana legalization billboard in Denver Thursday, but this time it's aimed at parents and with a message that may be surprising.
The billboard, located at 1600 Federal Blvd. just across from Sports Authority Field at Mile High, shows a man embracing his teen son and states: "Please, card my son. Regulate the sale of marijuana and help me keep it out of his hands."
Unlike their previous billboard promoting the responsible use of marijuana by an adult with a message that read, "For many reasons, I prefer marijuana over alcohol. Does that make me a bad person?", this billboard's message is decidedly opposite. The billboard posits the idea that legal, regulated marijuana would help keep the drug out of the hands of teens who wouldn't be buying it on the streets, but instead buying it at a store.
A newly formed committee of concerned parents that are organized for the purpose of keeping marijuana out of the hands of teens, Moms and Dads for Marijuana Regulation, were in attendance for the unveiling of the billboard supporting Amendment 64 -- Colorado's ballot measure that seeks to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use for adults.
"Amendment 64 will take the production and distribution of marijuana out of our neighborhoods and put it behind the counter of licensed businesses," Jason Thomas, a former Colorado police officer and Moms and Dads co-chair, said via press statement. "There is a reason why we do not see alcohol being widely produced and sold out of homes in the suburbs – because it is regulated."
The website associated with the new billboard, RegulationWorks.org, cites data from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report about youth and marijuana use. According to that report marijuana use by Colorado high school students has dropped since Colorado began regulating medical marijuana in 2009, bucking a national trend of increased teen marijuana use over that past several years.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol also outlines other benefits the group says will come from marijuana regulation on the website including: minimizing teens' access to marijuana, reducing exposure to more dangerous drugs and taking marijuana sales out of the hands of criminals.
"Marijuana prohibition is the worst possible policy when it comes to keeping marijuana out of the hands of teens," Dr. Erika Joye, PhD, a Denver-based school psychologist and also a co-chair of Moms and Dads in a press statement. "If we do not regulate marijuana across the board, we are guaranteeing that sales will be entirely uncontrolled and that those selling it will not ask for ID. We are also forcing consumers into an underground market where they are likely to be exposed to other, more harmful products."
Amendment 64 appears to be quite popular amongst Colorado voters. A recent Rasmussen Reports poll from earlier in June showed 61 percent of likely Colorado voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
That is the highest percentage of Colorado voter support that any marijuana legalization poll has shown to date. In December of 2011, a similar poll from Public Policy Polling showed only 49 percent in favor of general legalization of marijuana.
The marijuana legalization initiative also recently received support from both Republicans and Democrats -- in March, 56 percent of the delegates at the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support the legislation, and in April, the Denver Democratic Party officially endorsed Amendment 64 and added a marijuana legalization plank to the current party platform.
LOOK at the new marijuana billboard -- what do you think? Tell us in the comments below.
Below, where you can find legalized medical marijuana in the United States: