A group working to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona next year recently unveiled a new billboard campaign that grinds the ax of early prohibition by pulling some inspiration from the classic Reefer Madness-style movie posters of the mid 1930s.
The ad campaign, which consists of a single billboard in the Phoenix area, takes a novel approach to stirring the societal pot in hopes of gathering the necessary supporters to get their initiative, aimed at legalizing a statewide cannabis industry, on the ballot in the 2016 election.
Featuring a woman that is screaming in horror at the sight of something undoubtedly despicable, the message—“MARIJUANA: LESS toxic! LESS addictive! LESS scary than ALCOHOL!”—is printed across the billboard in the font that once assisted the U.S. government in selling its citizens on the concept of prohibition.
“Marijuana is illegal thanks to decades of anti-marijuana propaganda and fear mongering,” campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak said in a statement. “Once people find out it is actually safer than alcohol, they tend to agree it should not be a crime for adults to use it responsibly.”
Arizona is predicted to become one of the next states to establish a taxed and regulated cannabis market similar to Colorado. Organizers have already collected over 75,000 of the required 150,000 signatures needed to earn a spot on the ballot in 2016. Reports indicate these numbers puts the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on track to meet their goal before the deadline.
“We’re finding that more than one out of every two registered voters we ask to sign is happy to do it, so that’s a good sign,” Holyoak said. “People recognize that marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a mess as alcohol prohibition was 80 years ago. It’s time for a more sensible approach.”
As far as the new Halloween-themed billboard, the group says that while “nobody is saying marijuana is harmless,” they want the public to know that “scientific and medical communities are saying it is less harmful than alcohol.” They hope this advertisement will motivate citizens to further investigate the cause.