With more and more current and former NFL players acknowledging the benefits of marijuana over opiates for pain management, two leading cannabis organizations, ASA and Leafly, have teamed up on an ad campaign.
"These ads, the first of which appeared Sunday in USA Today's NFL Special Edition, will run for 30 days," ASA's press release states, "and have a presence in markets for the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles."
The campaign is "designed to bring the conversation about medical cannabis to the mainstream and educate both the NFL and its fan base on the medical benefits of cannabis, accelerating some must-needed change not just among the organization, but across the country as well.
'Using medical cannabis to lower doses or substitute for opiate painkillers can help reduce the misuse that leaves former players addicted at four-times the rate of non-players.'
Leafly further explains: "Those teams represent a variety of states that have either legalized cannabis recreationally, have established or are planning to launch some sort of medical cannabis program or have no sort of legalization whatsoever. Consequently, we feel that these ads will reach not only a wide audience of football fans who may not be familiar with cannabis' therapeutic properties, but call attention to the pivotal crossroads the organization is currently facing and urge the league to support medical cannabis and allow its players the choice of legal, safe and reasonable use of cannabis for valid medical reasons without repercussion."
The popular strain site also wants to bring attention to the NFL's drug policy, which results in countless suspensions of players who test positive for marijuana, Adderall and other banned substances.
In May, more than 500 players announced that they had signed onto a class-action suit against the NFL claiming teams turned many of them into addicts, hooked on opiate pain medication while they played and after they retired. "I became a junkie in the NFL," former wide receiver J.D. Hill says.
This is Leafly's second major ad placement in the last few weeks. The previous one (see below) ran in the Sunday New York Times on Aug. 3 at considerable expense.