The nation’s largest marijuana advocacy group, the Marijuana Policy Project, has launched a new campaign geared towards the education and promotion of safe consumption of marijuana products, especially edible marijuana.

The group plans to spend at least $75,000 on the “Consume Responsibly” campaign, to be launched on Oct. 17 in Denver with a billboard designed to educate tourists. In a statement, the group said their effort is intended to counteract decades of “exaggeration, fear mongering and condescension.”

The action comes after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote earlier this summer that she got sick from eating an edible form of marijuana during a visit to Denver while covering a story on marijuana.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, efforts to promote the safe use of edible marijuana products have been an arduous battle in Colorado since marijuana sales began in January.

The billboard’s tagline reads, “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation…With edibles, start low and go slow” and depicts a red-headed woman reminiscent of Dowd slumped over with her head in her hand. Edible marijuana products can be more powerful than the smoked form, and moderation is strongly advised.

According to the Associated Press, the organization also hopes to prevent stoned driving. The campaign will also feature print ads such as posters, brochures, magazines and online ads, as well as materials that will be distributed in locations where marijuana is sold. This marketing tactic will include information on responsible consumption, in addition to information about the products, laws, and the effects of marijuana.

The organization aspires to eventually expand the campaign to Washington D.C., where residents will vote on marijuana legalization in November.

Maria Adebola

Special to the AFRO