The organization backing a marijuana legalization initiative that is expected to appear on Arizona's ballot in November is taking advantage of this week's Phoenix Open to promote their cause with a billboard that compares cannabis and alcohol. The golf tournament, which is cosponsored by Coors and held at the TPC of Scottsdale complex, is known as "the greatest party on grass." Hence this billboard at the corner of 7th Street and Lincoln in Phoenix:
"We're glad that Arizona residents have the opportunity to attend the Open, consume alcoholic beverages, and enjoy the 'greatest party on grass,'" says J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project. "We also think it's important to acknowledge that alcohol is a much more harmful substance than marijuana. Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, and more likely to contribute to rowdy or violent behavior. If spectators can enjoy a beer or cocktail at the TPC, adults should not be arrested for enjoying a little marijuana at a backyard picnic. It is, quite literally, a safer party on grass." The website listed on the billboard, Marijuana-vs-Alcohol.org, elaborates on the comparison.
In case the grass joke did not sate your appetite for golf-related word play, Holyoak has more. "Our state took a shot at marijuana prohibition and landed in a hazard," he says. "We are giving Arizona a mulligan on its marijuana policy and letting voters take another swing at it this fall. For our part, we will continue to educate Arizonans about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol as we tee up this initiative for November." Oy.
Arizonans approved medical marijuana by a razor-thin margin in 2010, and it's not clear they're ready to go further. Last October a survey by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University found that just 49 percent of voters thought marijuana should be legalized for recreational use.