A first-of-its-kind taxpayer-funded marijuana PSA aired in most of New York during an NBA Finals game on Thursday, boldly addressing the racially discriminatory harms of cannabis criminalization and highlighting steps that state regulators are taking to right the wrongs of prohibition.
However, one major TV station refused to air the spot.
The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has been rolling out marijuana PSAs in the lead up to the launch of the state’s retail market, but this one was unique in its political focus, which is made all the more significant because it aired on nearly every local ABC affiliate in the state during Game 1 of the national basketball championship finals.
“Latino New Yorkers were eight times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white New Yorkers over the past 30 years. Black New Yorkers? 15 times more likely,” the narrator says in the ad.
WATCH: Our newest ad drops during Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight.
It highlights how decades of cannabis overpolicing harmed Black and Latino New Yorkers, and the work we’re doing to begin to address these devastating wrongs. pic.twitter.com/FK0ZJ6HMOR
— NYS Office of Cannabis Management (@nys_cannabis) June 2, 2022
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