NY Times Gets First Ad for Marijuana

Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 10:39 PM

By Greg Richter

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Leafly, the website and mobile phone app that rates pot dispensaries, ran a full page ad in Sunday's New York Times, the first ever advertisement for marijuana the newspaper.

The ad came a week after a series of editorials began appearing in the paper calling on the federal government to legalize the drug, which proponents say can treat a variety of medical problems.

Leafly.jpg"While we have run ads from marijuana advocacy organizations in the past, such as NORML [the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws], this may be the first non-advocacy ad that has run," a Times rep told AdWeek. "But since we do not track advertisements by subject, we can’t definitively confirm this claim."

The ad features the group's tagline, "Just Say Know," a play on Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" to drugs campaign from the '80s, and congratulates New York state on passing the Compassionate Care Act in June. A photo features two people representing New Yorkers who found the right strain of marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis and cancer.

Leafly's goal is to remove the "stoner" image of marijuana and show that it can be helpful to regular people with diseases, according to its website.  BuzzFeed describes it as "basically the Yelp for weed."

While Leafly may have beat all others to the pro-pot punch, detractors took out an anti-marijuana ad in The Gray Lady on Saturday.

"The legalization of marijuana means ushering in an entirely new group of corporations whose primary source of revenue is a highly habit-forming product," read the ad from GrassIsNotGreener.com.

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