Supporters, foes of pot legalization post rival ads in NY Times
The advertisements followed The New York Times' decision last month in a series of editorials to call for repealing the ban, the biggest U.S. newspaper to do so. Opinion polls show a majority of Americans now back the legalization of pot.
The ads are also designed to undercut pot's decades-old association with the counterculture and drop-outs by featuring people dressed in everyday working attire.
The ad depicts a woman jogger in Spandex gliding past a brownstone building as a crisply dressed professional man stands atop its steps with a bundle of papers under his arm.
"Ian chose an indica cannabis strain to relieve his MS symptoms," a bubble next to him says.
"While fighting cancer, Molly preferred a sativa cannabis," says the bubble next to the jogger.
Explaining the decision to use ordinary working people in the ad, Privateer Holdings' chief executive, Brendan Kennedy, said: "This product and this industry are still depicted as sub-culture or counter-culture. That's just not the reality."
Last month, New York became the 23rd state to allow medical marijuana.
However, Saturday's edition of The New York Times carried an ad from a group opposed to pot legalization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and allied organizations.
It featured a suit-and-tie-clad executive leaning over a conference-room table with a photo of a grinning, bandana-wearing hippy superimposed over his face. The word "Perception" is next to his flowing hair. The suit has the word "Reality."
"The legalization of marijuana means ushering in an entirely new group of corporations whose primary source of revenue is a highly habit-forming product," the advertisement says.