Marijuana advocates use Super Bowl as advocacy tool

A sign is displayed outside the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary on January 1, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. 

This weekend's Super Bowl has all sorts of drug inspired nicknames — the Stoner Bowl, the Bud Bowl, the Weed Bowl, the Bowl Bowl. On Facebook, Cheech and Chong have suggested the tagline: "Lots of Hits. No Penalties."

The Denver Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks, pitting the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana use against each other, making the game the perfect opportunity to talk marijuana — and marijuana laws.

"You are dealing with two likable and very visible teams from the legalized states," says Greg Wagner, a marketing professor at the University of Denver. For groups that want more legal pot, it's a chance they can't pass up. "Let's jump in there and be a part of the party."

A group called the Marijuana Policy Project spent $5,000 on pro-pot billboards near the stadium.

"Most people are just interested in the Super Doobie Bowl or whatever" says Kevin Oliver, with the Washington state affiliate of NORML. But he hopes that humor will turn into a bigger discussion about legalization and employee rights.

It's not a discussion that the NFL is in the mood for. The league declined comment.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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