The Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is raising eyebrows over a pro-legalization billboard the group sponsored in Phoenix. The billboard, appropriately timed and themed to coincide with the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open, reads:
“If beer and golf make for the ‘greatest party on grass’… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?”
The Waste Management Phoenix Open, a tournament known for attracting thousands of visitors and hosting lavish parties, has been dubbed “The Greatest and Greenest Party on Grass.”
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona is attempting to institute a Colorado-like system of cannabis legalization. A campaign spokesperson reports that the group is close to gathering the required number of signatures to get the issue on the state’s ballot in November.
“Our message is simple,” said J.P. Holyoak, the campaign chairman.
“Enjoy alcohol responsibly, but adults should be able to choose the safer alternative and enjoy cannabis responsibly as well.”
The billboard, which will remain at Seventh and Lincoln streets in Phoenix until the end of the tournament, has been received with disapproval from many who oppose cannabis legalization.
“Using the laudable and charitable Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament as a springboard to publicize a political campaign to legalize marijuana in Arizona is the opposite of good health, good education and good public policy — and certainly the opposite of good taste,”
wrote Seth Leibsohn, the chair of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group that opposes the legalization of cannabis in the state.
Holyoak disagrees, citing a hope that the billboard inspires honest conversation about cannabis and responsible substance consumption.
“There are a lot of stereotypes that go along with marijuana that don’t ring true,”
explained Holyoak. “These stereotypes would be the equivalent of saying that everyone who enjoys a glass of wine was a wino on the streets, drinking out of a paper bag and stumbling around. Most adults who consume marijuana are simply responsible working people, family members, and parents. They’re normal people — so I think it’s absolutely inappropriate to invoke these stereotypes of cannabis consumers when it’s not the reality.”