This weekend, the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana will send football teams to the Super Bowl. Pot lovers across America have celebrated the world's first "stoner bowl" with game-day ganja recipes, "Pass Pass Puff" puns and weed-friendly wagers.
But perhaps the strongest message comes from the Marijuana Policy Project, which erected five massive billboards around New Jersey's MetLife Stadium to encourage the NFL to stop punishing its players who test positive for smoking pot.
“Marijuana is less toxic, less addictive, and less harmful to the body than alcohol,” MPP's Mason Tvert said in a statement announcing the media blitz. “Why would the NFL want to steer its players toward drinking and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead? If it is okay for athletes to douse each other with champagne in front of the cameras, it should be okay for them to use marijuana privately in their homes."
The billboards highlight an array of poignant messages, including that the number of marijuana arrests each year is nearly equal to the entire past decade of Super Bowl attendees and that the drug is safer than football itself. The ads launched in conjunction with an MPP-sponsored petition urging NFL to change its marijuana policy.
Earlier this month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that the league's stance on pot may be evolving, suggesting that he could support players' use of medical marijuana to treat injuries in the future. "We will continue to support the evolution of medicine," he said at the time.
Take a look at MPP's billboards, currently on display alongside New Jersey highways, below: