NORML Foundation To Launch Second NYC Times Square Billboard Campaign

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director April 15, 2010

    New Ad Debuts On April 20 On The CBS Super Screen

    Washington, DC: The NORML Foundation, the educational arm of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), will debut its second-ever digital ad this Tuesday, April 20, on the CBS Super Screen in New York City’s Times Square.

    The animated billboard advertisement will highlight the dramatic increase in New York City’s rate of marijuana possession arrests, which increased from fewer than 1,000 annually in 1992 to more than 46,000 in 2009.

    According to a 2008 study released by the New York Civil Liberties Union, City police have made an estimated 400,000 marijuana possession arrests over the past decade. The majority of citizens arrested for marijuana possession offenses are either African American or Hispanic.

    The ad concludes: "Legalize marijuana. Stop arrests."

    NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre called the City’s marijuana-centric arrest practices ‘shameful’ and ‘fiscally irresponsible.’ He said: "Under state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are categorized as a violation, not a criminal offense. Yet New York City police officers are effectively circumventing state law by charging tens of thousands of young adults each year with unnecessary criminal misdemeanors by claiming that the marijuana was possessed ‘in plain view.’ This is a shameful and fiscally irresponsible policy that disproportionately targets minorities and does nothing to improve public safety. It is time for City law enforcement to stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars and to abide by the state’s longstanding decriminalization law."

    The NORML Foundation’s new ad will appear eighteen times per day on the CBS’s digital billboard, located on 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Approximately 1.5 million people walk by the billboard each day.

    In March, NORML launched a 15-second digital ad trumpeting the cost savings and tax revenue that could be generated by regulating and taxing adult marijuana use. That ad, available online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeH5HrG7IfM, will continue to air until Monday, April 19.

    NORML’s forthcoming advertisement will air through May 2010.

    Founded in 1970, NORML is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots organization advocating on behalf of marijuana law reform. The NORML Foundation was founded in 1997 to support public education, research, stake holder organizing and impact litigation. In 2009, NORML Foundation launched the first-ever nationwide television ad campaign calling for the regulation of marijuana by adults.

    For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-5500.

    27 Responses to “NORML Foundation To Launch Second NYC Times Square Billboard Campaign”

    1. Brian says:

      I think norml is doing a great job with advertisement, but I really think public debates backed by science is needed! We would love to work with them on our site http://www.groundflower.com… contact us and lets work together!

    2. Delpart says:

      Have to agree with a comment I heard about PETA’s garbage tactics though … only the shock and awe with a splash of audacity gets the attention. This one is somewhat lacking as an attention getter in comparison.

      As cynical as most who pass by there daily are, I dont think this one has enough impact potential to spur useful conversation. Nor does it convey a sense of severity with the numbers being fractional to other issues that NY faces. But that’s not all there is now is it?

      All in all, it is much preferred to PETA’s approach as it doesn’t make NORML seem like a bunch of fringe lunatics. I can hope that constantly seeing a large number of brown faces mixed in with a giant cannabis leaf played over and over will leave its mark.

      Kudos again for retaining this ad placement. Even 5 years ago I couldn’t imagine it being where it is.

      (Yes, I dont think using *peta’s* model is a good idea. Just giving relevance to some feedback while trying to ensure to include it’s full context.)

    3. kikemessirs says:

      PUT UP the total to date forget this +40K number, +400K in NYC. 40 MILLION to date in USA. And then times that by $7500 per arrest. 46K is not going to shake up anyone.

      GO FOR IT!

    4. pete says:

      Its great to see that norml is doing adds, as this seems to be the only way to gain most americans attention. However, as some others have said, the arrest statistics are probably not the best argument for legalization: Many uneducated hard-heads will just think great more drug users of the street; a add that educates and encourages people to get the real facts on marijuana would be much better. I thought it was still very good though, and the more black and hispanic faces may help encourage them to take a stand. I would have really liked to see at the end of the add something like “Could you or a loved one be next” for emotional appeal…

    5. Wayne says:

      The felonization of minorities is paramount in achieving national security for true American’s. The white people who built this country into what it is and continues to evolve into. We have an obligation to protect our heritage from the minority hoards. Jail ’em all.

    6. Mark says:

      As a current NYC Police Officer I commend your ad. Do know that we do not make the laws we only enforce and sometimes it is not under our discretion. I do not speak for all but for myself. Be safe and happy tokin’

    7. Luke says:

      I like the new ad. Just remembered this – I saw a picture of a NORML ad attached to a Doritos display. Anyone know if this was a gag, or if it was genuine? Also, which store was it? I wanna send a thank you card to the manager.

    Leave a Reply