January 24, 2019
Super Bowl Bans Ad Showing Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is still a contentious issue in many areas of the U.S., despite the fact that many states and cities are starting to legalize the use of the drug. Patients who take it swear by it, and some have even attributed their continued existence to it. Others still feel it should be considered illegal contraband rather than a medical treatment.

Apparently, the Super Bowl and CBS is on that list of naysayers. The NFL has banned an ad that was submitted to be played during the Super Bowl on February 3, showing the benefits of medical marijuana for patients who use it.

According to a report by WIVB 4, the commercial, created by Acreage Holdings with the help of Gregory Kazmierczak, has not been accepted to be aired on the big stage.

It was Kazmierczak's idea to create the advertisement to start a conversation about medical marijuana and showcase just how much help it can be for people suffering with any number of different illnesses or ailments. He himself uses the drug to help him cope with his back pain. He had previously been on much stronger drugs that are also known to be highly addictive and dangerous if taken in large quantities: Opioids.

The ad features the testimonies of people who use medical marijuana, from a young boy with a disability, to Kazmierczak with his back pain, and a veteran who is missing a limb from his time serving the country.

"This is something that can save people's lives because I really think it saved my life," said Kazmierczak.

Kazmierczak was devastated to hear that CBS had not accepted the ad.

Harris Damashek, Chief Marketing Officer for Acreage Holdings, was disappointed to receive the rejection notice from the network after submitting the ad for consideration.

"We submitted storyboards of the production to CBS and received a blanket response that they would not be running any medical cannabis advertising."
Damashek explained that the ad is more of a "public service announcement" than an actual advertisement. Acreage Holdings was also prepared to pay big bucks for the 60-second slot the ad would have taken up: $5 million.

"We did not show any our products, and of our retail stores. The message was not to promote Acreage's business, but purely to address this issue," said Damashek.

He also aired his concerns over the fact that the NFL "clearly has no problems airing commercials for beer, other pharmaceuticals."

Despite this huge rejection on what would have been the perfect stage to air the commercial, Damashek is determined to still get the testimonies out there, and will begin looking at other networks to air it. In the meantime, YouTube has made it easy for him to share the ad online.