This could be the first ad from a marijuana business to run in the New York Times (Vox Media)

By GERMAN LOPEZ | August 2, 2014


The times are changing. Leafly, which is a bit like the Yelp of medical marijuana, on Sunday will run a full-page ad in the New York Times. The company believes this will be the first time a marijuana business has been approved to run in the pages of the Times, although a Times spokesperson said the newspaper has run ads from marijuana advocacy groups in the past.

The New York Times Editorial Board last week endorsed marijuana legalization, sparking an increase in discussion about drug policy reform. The placement of this ad captures some of the broader societal changes going on.

Of course, not everyone is happy with the Times’ endorsement. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), which opposes legalization, ran its own ad in the Times on Saturday:

There’s some validity to this ad’s point. A recent study of Colorado’s legal pot market found the 30 percent most frequent pot users make up nearly 90 percent of demand for marijuana. Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at UCLA, describes this trend as a for-profit incentive that’s at odds with society as a whole. “Their best customers are the problem users,” Kleiman said in a previous interview. “They are an industry with a set of objectives that flatly contradicts public interest.”

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