New York Times Runs First Ever Marijuana Ad

By Victoria Kim 08/06/14

The Gray Lady ran its first-ever advertisement for a marijuana-related business amidst mounting calls for the paper to change its drug testing policies.

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Over this past weekend, The New York Times ran its first-ever marijuana ad. The full-page ad was purchased by Leafly, an online marijuana information resource that links patients and recreational users with the right strains and products, as well as dispensaries, and ran on page 17 with the tagline “Just Say Know.”

The ad was created in anticipation of the implementation of New York’s Compassionate Care Act, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on July 7, making New York the 23rd medical marijuana state. The law allows healthcare providers to recommend marijuana to patients with debilitating and life-threatening illnesses who need marijuana to relieve their symptoms. The law went into effect immediately, though patients were not expected to have legal protections or safe access to medical marijuana until 2016, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Leafly has created a special page to familiarize New Yorkers with the details of the Compassionate Care Act, which conditions it covers, strain recommendations for such conditions, and other resources. The ad ran on the heels of a six-part series by the New York Times editorial board calling for marijuana legalization. The White House posted an immediate response, criticizing the editorial board’s suggestion, citing “a cascade of health problems” associated with marijuana use, including cognitive impairment and addictiveness.

Currently, twenty-three states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes for relief from symptoms of conditions including but not limited to cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Despite their public support and six-part weed series, the Times still drug tests employees for marijuana.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr