When you're an anti-marijuana group, there's not a lot you can do to make your case. Most scientific data and statistics basically disprove all of your talking points. So what can you do? Try to censor all those facts!
An anti-marijuana group in Arizona, called Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP), are asking the state's Attorney General to investigate a series of billboard put up by the cannabis company Weedmaps that present positive facts about legalization. These billboards include one citing the decrease in opioid deaths in states with legalized marijuana, as well as one that points out that teen cannabis use did not increase in areas with recreational cannabis.
ARDP claims that the billboards represent dangerous and false advertisement and should be removed, citing the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. It appears that Weedmaps anticipated these arguments would be made, because on the bottom of each billboard they list the source for the information cited in the ad.
"Advertising on the billboards includes claims that youth use has not increased in Colorado and Washington since legalization of recreational marijuana; claims of a decrease in opioid deaths attributable to marijuana in legal marijuana states; how to find dispensaries; and billboards urging viewers to get high. These claims are false, misleading and dangerous," the group said in a message to their supporters.
Of course, they don't cite any statistics that prove they are false or mention that there are studies and data to confirm the billboard's statements.
As a backup in case that argument fails, the ARDP also cites a federal law that says advertisements cannot promote the transaction of illegal substances. However, that law also makes an exception that says an ad can be allowed if it "merely advocates the use of a similar material, which advocates a position or practice, and does not attempt to propose or facilitate an actual transaction in a Schedule I controlled substance." That seems to be the case in this instance.
The ARDP also says they will be releasing their own billboard with stats that go against marijuana legalization. Here is their first one:
Notice how there's no source for this fact? Apparently if you can't get people to stop posting facts that go against your argument, you just make up your own!
(h/t Phoenix New Times)