The New York Times may support high times, but that doesn't mean it won't take adverts from opponents of medical marijuana.
Supporters and opponents of a federal ban on marijuana took to the pages of The New York Times last weekend with full-page colour advertisements that highlight the fast-evolving debate in the US 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 US newspaper to do so. Opinion polls show a majority of Americans now back the legalisation of pot.
The ads are also designed to undercut pot’s decades-old association with the counter-culture 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.”