CBS rejects Super Bowl ad touting benefits of medical marijuana

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Super Bowl LIII will be a clash of the coasts, with the New England Patriots facing off against the Los Angeles Rams. In both Massachusetts and California, the use of medical or recreational marijuana is legal.

Acreage Holdings, a so-called “seed-to-sale” cannabis company, wanted to air an ad about the benefits of medical marijuana during the game, but CBS rejected it.

“They said, ‘We’re not taking advertisements for cannabis.’ I think it was categorical,” said CEO George Allen.

Currently 33 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. But Marijuana is a banned substance in the NFL.

In a violent sport, polls show a majority of players support using medical marijuana to manage their pain, including Nate Jackson, a retired tight end with the Denver Broncos. He was flattened in a game in 2008 and a team doctor prescribed Vicodin, an opioid, for his pain. Jackson smoked marijuana instead and wants the NFL to change its policy.

“It’s not about getting high. It’s not about becoming a stoner. The NFL doesn’t have to worry about that. The football is a lot worse for them than the marijuana,” he said.

Arthur Blank owns the Atlanta Falcons and will host this year’s Super Bowl. He is against allowing players to using medical marijuana.

“I probably would not be in favor of it because I am concerned about the gateway affect that it has on other drugs,” Blank said.

CBS News asked to see the ad but the company didn’t provide it. In a statement, CBS said, “Under out broadcast standards, we do not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.” The NFL also has the right to reject Super Bowl commercials.

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