NORML Foundation To Launch Second NYC Times Square Billboard Campaign

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former 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. troy says:

      i was swarmed by nyc undercover police who had no probable cause i was parked, they pulled me out of my car saw i was completely sober and there was no burnt marijuana smell and yet they still tore my car apart and found .6 grams of marijuana which were far from in plain view, i had to spend a night in jail for that and now i can’t get hired by anyone until it comes off my record, im happy the word is getting out that cops are bored and are ignoring the more serious substances just to make their captains happy that they have prisoners in the holding cells. thanks norml.

    2. Rhayader says:

      That’s a fantastic ad folks, thanks for making this happen. I think this is a much more powerful message than anything relating to public revenue.

    3. High, Cool, I am happy and proud to see what is happening. Allen, I remember when we moved you guys into the “new” office in ’92…Wow, keep up the good work, my friend. We started a trend by putting the billboard up in Little rock about that time, when Clinton was in transition, but this one is awesome.

    4. Yoshi K. Carter says:

      I’m just euphoric to have found out there was someone that thought the laws for marijuana were outrageous!! I found out about NORML a couple of years ago; I think that was one the most happiest days of my life. I’m still not sure what “4/20” is, but it sounds good to me for various reasons!!!!

    5. kyle says:

      it’s phenomenal that’s these ads are finally up, but i feel that they aren’t providing any pivotal evidence against prohibition. if a closed-minded person were to see this ad, and many will, they’ll be thinking “good, more criminals are being put away”. all i’m saying is that legalization ads need a bit more ethos, because simply telling them that the rate of marijuana arrests in new york city have risen will not open their eyes.

    6. kyle says:

      *has risen

    7. mtlasagna says:

      yes right on great

      i’ve been yelling about this issue for a couple of years over at nytimes comments.

      this is a huge opportunity to stop the cops who are clearly being fascist dickheads.

    8. Yoni says:

      I liked the “Money CAN grow on trees” ad better. This isn’t very convincing. Yes, a lot of marijuana arrests are putting harmless citizens in jail but its still illegal. Thus, they should be put in jail. It’s not a very convincing argument.

    9. Fragacide says:

      As always I am completely supportive of any type of action NORML takes place, however, this new ad doesn’t seem to reach out to the uneducated masses, but instead seems to be trying to rally those who are already supportive of it to make a stand against the police who are NOT abiding by the state law they sworn to abide by and protect.
      In my personal opinion, I think what we need to be doing at this crucial point in the legalization and decriminalization revolution would be to try to teach those who have not been properly educated on the subject, such as those who still believe in the gateway drug theory or the whole frying your brain cells thing. If we want to get on to the next step in legalization, we have to start with education to the uneducated by informing them of the truth, by bringing up studies, by quoting numbers that we learned from NORML, anything to open their eyes to the truth.
      Remember, talk to your neighbors, friends, and most importantly to your legislation members, and be sure to talk seriously about the subject.
      PS: In TN our health committee is severely lacking in information, and as I keep myself up to date with the legislation, I notice that the ones who are opposed seem to already be biased against it with false information, despite the fact that if passed it would be the strictest medical marijuana bill in the country… if we fail this bill for the second year in a row, it will only be because we have failed to properly inform the people who are suppose to represent us of the truth.

    10. Golrog says:

      This is exactly the type of thing I love to see norml do. I’ve donated some bucks in the past and I have a steady job now and would definitely do it again in the future. From the article you said that the norml FOUNDATION ran this ad? The difference there is that donations are tax deductible correct? If so this is about the best way I can imagine to spend my donation money so I may be getting myself a sweet norml ashtray here in the near future ;).

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