Marijuana: NFL-pot-policy-change billboard up near Mile High in time for season opener
At 10 a.m. today, hours before the NFL season kickoff game between your Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens, Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert will hold a news conference at 1700 North Federal, in Mile High Stadium's shadow. The occasion? The intro of a new billboard calling for the league to amend its policy banning players from smoking pot -- a substance made legal in small amounts by Colorado's Amendment 64, a measure Tvert helped propel. Continue to see this billboard and others that illustrate Tvert's long-term commitment to the issue.
Big photos below.
As we reported in July, Tvert first tackled the topic in 2007, when he was best known as founder of SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation). At the time, the Miami Dolphins' Ricky Williams had applied for reinstatement to the NFL after a marijuana-related suspension, and Tvert helped coordinate the placement of a billboard in the same location near Mile High Stadium encouraging the running back to sign with Denver.
Here's a look at that billboard....
...and here's a photo of Tvert at a press event timed to the placard's unveiling:
Then, this summer, Tvert, under the aegis of the Marijuana Policy Project, coordinated the placement of a billboard in Las Vegas. This time, the focus was on boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who in March was suspended from competition for nine months and fined $900,000 after a positive marijuana test. The placard decried the punishment and argued that such policies encouraged alcohol abuse.
Here's a photo of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. billboard:
As the situation with Chavez demonstrates, policies punishing athletes for marijuana use are common in many sports organizations. But a MPP blog post on the subject stresses that some organizations have started rethinking such edicts. In May, for instance, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which monitors Olympic competitions, boosted the threshold of permitted THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) from fifteen nanograms per milliliter of blood to 150 -- and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has followed suit.
Courtesy Marijuana Policy Project
Not the NFL, however -- which is why Tvert is sending a billboard-sized message. Does he think the subject will come up during tonight's national broadcast of the Broncos-Ravens game?
Continue to see photos of the new billboard and hear from Mason Tvert.