Civil Liberties

Marijuana Ad to Air at NASCAR Races

At first it looks like a beer commercial, then it turns out to be a pitch for legalization.


This weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fans entering the Brickyard 400 races will see this ad on a jumbotron:

The video was produced by the Marijuana Policy Project, which notes in a press release that the spot is "scheduled to air dozens of times from Friday through Sunday." The screen isn't on speedway property, so NASCAR is pretty much powerless to stop it. Some Indiana-based reporter should park himself in the area and watch the crowd's reaction evolve as it becomes clear just what exactly is in rotation.

Elsewhere in Reason: "The Hippie and the Redneck Can Be Friends."

Friday Evening Update: The spot aired as scheduled today but is now being pulled, reportedly following pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. Well, it was fun while it lasted. The New York Daily News' story on the reversal ends with a wry reminder of some relevant history:

Stock car racing in the United States traces its roots back to the Prohibition era, when bootleggers in Appalachia would attempt to elude police on mountain roads in souped-up versions of everyday cars.