First-Ever Nationwide Pro-Marijuana TV Ad Campaign Is Launched in Conjunction with '4/20'

Boulder, Colorado: I have every reason to believe that ‘4/20’ in 2009 will be the biggest and most momentous one to date as NORML launches 7,770 nationwide TV ads that advocate for cannabis law reform; NORML expects record numbers of supporters to join the organization for the celebratory one-day price of $4.20 because, I believe, there is a palpable zeitgeist in America right now favoring reform; the Obama administration appears amenable to some cannabis law reforms in ways that no prior president since Jimmy Carter has embraced; and lastly, with NORML’s nearly 600,000 ‘friends’ on Facebook and nearly 67,000 MySpace, more Americans than ever before who are keen on cannabis can create a viral effect that benefits reform.
Here in Boulder between 10,000-15,000 students and activists are expected to celebrate in what has become the biggest 4/20 event in the world.

Heck, the New York Times has already posted a profile of 4/20 for today’s paper, where they came yesterday for interview and photos to the University of Colorado at Boulder’s National Marijuana Forum. This portends well to what will be an insane day in the media for pro-reform groups like NORML (I’ve already got 35 interviews scheduled…) as I was also asked to pen an essay for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered that I assume will be published today. (UPDATE! Read and comment on Allen’s essay here.)

I dare say we as a country are finally ‘getting it’ regarding the clear and obvious need to reform our misguided cannabis laws.

Thanks to the hundreds of NORML supporters who donated what they could to buy ad time to launch a timely 4/20 ad campaign, you’re the green that keeps NORML all grassroots, all of the time!

Have an enjoyable and safe 4/20 from the staff of NORML!

Legalization: Yes We Can – Jason Druss

Marijuana Advocacy Group Launches TV Campaign on ‘4/20’
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation (NORML Foundation) a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, established in 1997, is purchasing advertising time on selective cable outlets to underscore the urgency of decriminalizing cannabis.
The NORML Foundation launched this pro-marijuana ad campaign to create further political pressure on the federal government to recognize 1) the ever-increasing support of Americans who favor cannabis legalization, 2) the clear sea change of cannabis laws that’s been happening at the state level since Californians voted in favor of medicinal access to cannabis in 1996, and 3) to rally cannabis consumers and anti-prohibitionists on April 20, a date on the calendar that has organically become a national day to both publicly celebrate cannabis as well as protest 70 years of prohibition.

The featured ad is the winner of NORML’s recent user-generated-content contest that asks NORML supporters: ‘What would you say to President Obama about legalizing marijuana?’
New Jersey college student and up and coming filmmaker Jason Druss created the winning submission and is the recipient of the contest’s $3,500 cash grand prize after 6500 votes were cast on NORML’s webpage. “It’s time for President Obama to endorse cannabis law reform where it is legally controlled and taxed like alcohol and tobacco products,” stated Jason Druss. “It’s shocking that students can lose out from federal student loans for possessing a few joints, when pot’s been part of the college culture for decades.’

Marijuana, By the Numbers…
Thirteen states (with a population base of 115 million Americans) have decriminalized cannabis possession; thirteen states (with a population base of 75 million Americans) now have medical cannabis laws. Additionally, more states than ever before are debating cannabis law reform, including California and Massachusetts where legalization legislation have been introduced.
Since 1965, over 20 million Americans have been arrested on cannabis-related charges—90% for possession-only; over 900,000 cannabis arrests are expected again this year.

According to numerous survey and polls, approximately 75% of Americans support medical access to cannabis; 73% favor decriminalizing cannabis possession for adults and 42% of Americans support legalizing cannabis.

7,700 NORML Foundation ads are appearing on cable outlets nationwide (with a strong media buy in Ohio) on CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, Fuse, FX Networks, G4, MSNBC, CNN’s Headline News and Spike TV.

0 thoughts

  1. I am going to have a magnetic sign made for my truck stating LEGALIZE!! I would like to ask Norml “May I use you logo and website on my new sign?”

  2. For a safer America, join norml today.. LEGALIZE!!!
    Couldn’t we sue the govenment simply because cannabis laws were based on lies and no facts. Seems to me like we could.
    I’ll send you a picture of my truck when it’s done..thanks for everything.

  3. Curious statistic, How many people were in jail at the end of alchohol prohibition? How many people today are in jail because of marijuana prohibition. That’s a lot of people to just send home at the end of prohibition. I love the idea of so many people being set free over pot but has the Department of Justice created a situation that they can’t stop? How about running that kind of data in commercials NORML.

  4. I believe if your old enough to fight for your country,drink alcohol,or support a family responsivly,you should be able to make the right choises for yourself.So if you want to sit down after a long day (or night) at work and smoke a little reefer, so be it.

  5. Stop the governemtns systematic Eradication of Hemp/Cannibas/Marijuana. Its not just an economic issue but an ecological and evnironmental issue. We need to rally the support of environmentalists to our cause. Stop the destruction of plants that have beneficial medical purpose. Just as they try to save the rainforest for the same purpose.

  6. Servando? Drugs? Death? You didn’t mention Legal Drugs did you? Yeah, I started with nicotine, moved on to beer, then went right into sniffing glue. I also did a lot of LSD and speed. I never smoked pot until I was 16 and it took me until I was 19 to find out that pot was the only drug without harm. I’m alive with a good job and getting close to retirement thank you!
    I almost died when my doctor prescibed a drug that got an incorrect label put on it and I spent 3 days in intensive care. Many more deaths are recorded from LEGAL substances than your scary ass hard drugs. You really don’t know what you are saying as the deaths from “hard drugs’ are only a fraction compared to your legal ones that “our” govenment taxes and regulates. Where’s your fucking out cry now?

  7. NORML we need a new blog stating how much money was raised yesterday and how many new members joined!

  8. I watched the major news networks all day and never saw a single AD 🙁
    Has Anyone actually seen one of these on TV? I want to see these ADs twice an hour …minimum.

  9. Thanks, NORML, love the add! I can’t believe how narrowminded some people can be.
    #21 acts as if legalization mandates use. Just because a substance is legal does neither endorse it’s use, nor does it force anyone to use. Prohibition of alcohol should have taught a lesson as to the futility of prohibiting anything. If anything, prohibition only encourages use as well as fuelling the black market and availability.
    Let’s continue this stupidity for a few more years and the drug cartels will really become a threat to our security and the cost of incarcerating non violent users might just bankrupt the country. Many States are already cutting education and other vital programs because of the budget shortfalls. While in Florida this past winter almost every time I watched the “news” the talk was about possible school closures or teacher lay-offs. Of course those reports were preceded by the ever present pro law enfarcement propaganda and another potr bust.

  10. Look, someone did a good job with the ad and it is a milestone to see them being aired. I’m afraid it kinda preached to the choir though. Coming from a cable TV background I know that it’s always been possible to by “local insertion” ads at very affordable rates. Having said that, one minute ads tend to be too long for Americans short attention spans. I’d love to see a short 30 sec with Willie Nelson. Ask him. He could get the Ear of the Hank Hill’s of America.

  11. I hope all had a great 420 yesterday. The thing that most disappointed me was the lack of news coverage. I know it was covered a little but, we had more 420 celebrations that those teabagger parties that faux news organized, and they got lots of news coverage. As for the people on this thread that oppose our movement…get a life! If you don’t want to smoke then don’t. Live and let live.

  12. Maybe Willie Nelson would agree to be the NORML spokesperson. I’m very serious about this. It wouldn’t hurt his career and he has the ability to preach to the Red states. C’mon Willie, it’s your Patriotic Duty to end this. America and Weed are like chocolate and peanut butter.
    DRAFT WILLIE !!!!!

  13. Also everyone please go back and read #182 Lisa. Our hearts go out to an 18 year old who now is facing some serious consequences. Again a celebrity like Michael Phelps can get away with it, your average Joe cannot.
    Back in the Day (70’s) we used to label some people “Cool”. They enjoyed the herb but were discreet enough not to get caught. Maybe some day things will be different, but not today.
    We would also do well to listen to her other point. The more noise we make today, the more donations flow into all the Prohibition groups, AND THEY DO KNOW HOW TO USE MONEY AND VOTES.

  14. Keep these commercials going!
    Keep new one’s coming!
    Don’t just make it a one day thing.
    I wanna see professionals doing documentaries on the history of marijuana on the history channel laying down the fact’s.
    I want to see all the head’s of every one of these organizations on the new’s once a week laying down the fact’s.
    We the regular american people can’t do much. we need more of you people in the government/on the new’s doing their part.
    If i could get on the New’s you bet your ass I’d have something to say that would change america’s mind’s but sadly I don’t believe i will ever have the chance.
    Keep up the work NORML just don’t let it slow down. Keep it increasing.

  15. @ areign #191
    While your doing your research why don’t you read the US constitution. Also ask yourself: Do I want the nanny government to watch over every move I make and keep me safe from harm? Cheeseburgers can be bad for your health too. Maybe we should outlaw them. Skydiving should be against the law for civilians based on some prohibitionists arguments. Tell me something you like to do areign that is not essential to your own survival and I can find an argument that it can be hazardous to you as well as those around you thereby making an argument for prohibition of said act. This has been done to all drugs, including Alcohol, yet excluding tobacco.
    There should be no law criminalizing the actions of another so long as they are not infringing upon the rights of others. If I smoke a joint in my living room how am I hurting anyone but myself? There are far worse things hazardous to your health than marijuana. Mainstream media is just one example.

  16. Update us Guys!!! How much was donated? Who ACTUALLY aired the PSA?? Where’s the final cut that made TV??! (because a few of us don’t get G4…) I need the info here….

  17. Makes me recall the Free at Last Martin Luther King speech if only it would come true.
    Stop the greed and racist behind the war on drugs. Its all for a few greedy corporations that stand to lose money and our representatives that take millions every year to continue to enslave us. Stop the war on US.. Now please!
    Cherokee Fred Jesus

  18. i fully agree with norml, i have worked with the st louis chapter of norml before.
    we all have the momentum and the dedication. we need to take this further. let us all organize rallies at the cancer centers across the land. write letters to all the media and get exposure to this.
    the more we can get shown about this, the less the opposition has to lie about to keep it illegal.
    now everyone needs to write, call and bug their local cancer treatment centers, go to support groups and offer information, write to your local government as well as federal government, tell your friends and neighbors, if you have the money donate to norml, and use the facts.
    dont let anyone bait you into a name calling contest, just walk away, you can’t open a closed mind.
    ty for your time

  19. Can we do anything about the stereotypes next? This is my biggest gripe at present as all this “unwashed hippie” talk is NO DIFFERENT than “black people like malt liquor and chicken wings” it is OFFENSIVE, especially for those of us who hold jobs & smoke only in our off hours.

  20. My point in the above (208) being that it’s hard to enact REAL change when you are the only “acceptable” stereotype left.

  21. I donated buy Credit Card, What are the chances of getting trouble over this? i keep reading about people asking the same question, can anyone help with this. I’m as clean as soapy warm water but will they pull the stopper from my sink, so to say.

  22. i think someone said this but I think it must be echoed~
    the phrase in the ad says of every race and creed.
    and it’s all white people.
    really missed on that one.
    we’ll get there soon~
    i’m sober till it’s legal

  23. I see a lot of complaints about the government taxing pot. These seem ridiculous to me. Pot should be legal, and like any other domestically grown and sold product should be taxed. There is nothing wrong with the taxing of marijuana and I would be happy to pay taxes for the right to smoke a joint.

  24. Cnn or any news source needs to do a national poll again so we can all prove to Fox that it wasnt internet trolls (hackers) that come up with the Townhall meeting # 1 question then what will they say

  25. Wheres the commercials? What is the time frame of the commercials? I recorded several hours of several different shows where the commercial is supposed to air with my DVR and saw now NORML commercial.

  26. It’s about time we had some pro-marijuana ads out there on T.V.! I’m getting so sick and tired of watching those Above The Influence commercials! We know what you’re doing ONDCP! Your days are numbered!

  27. They need a better commercial next time. The laughing at the end ruins it and there were no facts or statistics…

  28. I believe you should try to buy airtime on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Adult Swim has obvious smokers in the shows. Tim & Eric reference it all the time in all their shows.

  29. This is amazing. I am so happy that this commercial delivers the RIGHT message. Doctors getting their license taken away? Cancer patients arrested for taking their medicine?! Thank god we’re stopping this.

  30. Whitmorris Langmire sounds like a prison guard with not much of a resume. He has to talk like that, no matter how stupid it sounds. He’s fighting for his livelyhood and too stupid to find honest work.

  31. It’s sad. Marijuana reform took a back seat on the news on 4/20 to the 10th aniversary of Columbine.

  32. #205 Supporter Says:
    April 21st, 2009 at 9:45 am
    Stop the governent’s systematic Eradication of Hemp/Cannabis/Marijuana. It’s not just an economic issue, but an ecological and environmental issue. We need to rally the support of environmentalists to our cause. Stop the destruction of plants that have beneficial medical purpose. Just as they try to save the rainforest for the same purpose.
    Supporter, I agree.
    – The War on some ‘Drug-Plant Species’ is ecologically-damaging and environmentally-destructive. – Government-Mandated Extinction of medically-useful / beneficial plants,
    (those containing compounds necessary for optimum health and freedom from disease),
    is, in essence, making life itself illegal.

  33. I thought the commercial was a little too cute and contrived. In addition, the commercial is missing a vital component. It needs to address people who have chronic and painful conditions that need medical marijuana to help relieve the pain. For thousands of people, the pain pills they are prescribed, are no longer effective for relieving pain for their condition. And also have too many side effects. The commercial should explain how these people with chronic pain are suffering as a result of being denied medical marijuana.

  34. Has any one seen one on TV ???? I keep looking.
    I thought that we would get some extra air time from the news about the adds…
    I don’t think they have aired yet…..

  35. CENSORED??? – I live in Port Townsend, Washington and subscribe to ‘Broadstripe Cable.’ Can anyone tell me if the NORML commercials are running in my area? I have yet to see ANY on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fuse, FX Networks, G4, CNN’s Headline News and Spike TV. I know ‘liberal stations’ like MSNBC, and BRAVO are not offered here. Many commercials running nationally are preempted by local advertising and Broadstripe’s own self promotions that run often to the point of annoyance.

  36. I just saw a news bit that stated; and I quote ” In Texas if you get caught advertising the sale of your baby it is a class A mis. !! But I’m sure, ya know, that an ounce of ganja is prob. a class felony sumthin’…..bullshit man.

  37. RE: to 213 Vote Like a Beast
    Very insightful, I wish NORML would have consulted you first! And using Willie Nelson as a spokesperson is a fantastic idea!

  38. Anyone wondering if they are on t.v. yet. I saw one on MSNBC just the other day. And though I know its been mentioned I still read like one or two complaints about the laughing. They did cut this out. So I say just keep an eye out and you might see it.

  39. I too have been watching MSNBC here in NC on Dishnetwork and have not seen a single add. Are they running at 3AM when noone is watching and what time slots did NORML purchase????

  40. I’ve yet to see any NORML commercials either.
    NORML needs to either start airing their commercials already or give us an explanation NOW.
    A lot of people donated and expect you to hold up your end of the bargain. Don’t lose their support, NORML.

  41. GA Gov. Sonny Purdue has found a new way to combat the rising costs of inprisoning all these potsmokers.
    Prisons now have more power to charge inmates for
    their medical costs while behind bars.
    Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a measure into law Tuesday that allows state and county corrections officials to draw up regulations to
    deduct the money for some medical costs from inmates accounts.
    It excludes costs related to pregnancies and chronic illnesses, which include diabetes, cancer and renal disease.
    Prisons are constitutionally required to provide medical care to

  42. #245 Greg Williams Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 am
    I too have been watching MSNBC here in NC on Dishnetwork and have not seen a single add. Are they running at 3AM when noone is watching and what time slots did NORML purchase????
    – I believe the ‘ad-time‘ was purchased on / from
    selected cable outlets‘,
    (i.e. local, terrestrial cable-companies),
    not the cable / satellite ‘networks‘ themselves,
    (which would be cost-prohibitive at this point).
    – – HOWEVER . . . the ads are also available online;
    (14 different NORML Marijuana Law Reform ads on YouTube,
    which you can email to anyone with broadband access).
    NORML – Is there or will there be a way to download these ads, to burn to DVD-R, to share with
    those who don’t have broadband, cable, nor a computer?
    (Or don’t have a computer with the latest OS or hardware).

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