An emotional TV advert which is said to show the benefits of medical marijuana, has been banned from the Superbowl, with CBS refusing to air it.
The ad, from cannabis company Acreage Holdings, shows how medical marijuana can help to alleviate the pain and suffering of those living with a variety of health conditions.
Three people are profiled within the advertisement. All three of these individuals has found using medical marijuana made living with their respective conditions more bearable.
The much coveted Superbowl spot would have allowed their stories to be told before an enormous audience.
The first person to be profiled was Austen, a young boy with Dravet Syndrome who suffers from ‘dozens to hundreds’ of seizures each day.
In the advert, Austen’s mother Amy states how other treatments have proved ineffective. She describes medical marijuana as having saved her son’s life and expressed sorrow for other parents in similar situations who don’t have access.
The second person is Greg Kazmierczak from Buffalo, New York who developed an opioid addiction after having three back surgeries.
Greg openes up about his past struggles in the advert, describing ‘a very dark, very depressive time in my life’. He goes on to praise medical cannabis for giving him his life back.
The third profiled individual is Ryan Miller, a wounded veteran from Oakland, California, who had to have his leg amputated after being injured.
Ryan spoke movingly in the advert about what access to medical cannabis had meant for him:
I want to see my brothers and sisters who have sacrificed so much for this country have access to the safest treatment possible. This really is an injustice.
The ad concludes by urging viewers to contact their US Representative or US Senator regarding the issue of medical marijuana. A reported 33 US states have voted for the legalisation of the drug.
Yet beer commercial after beer commercial….
— Delta Hercules ✪ (@DeltaHercules) January 22, 2019
As reported by Esquire, ‘CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time’.
Sources connected with CBS informed TMZ the network does not accept any advertising related to cannabis, adding they’re unaware of any other broadcasters who’d be willing to air cannabis-related ads.
The news about the rejection is working the same way and it’s free. Put the ad on YouTube and watch it go viral
— Ralphige 💎 (@Ralphige) January 22, 2019
President of Acreage Holdings, George Allen, told CNN how the company had been ‘disappointed’ by the decision:
We’re disappointed by the news but somewhat unsurprised. Still, we developed the ad in the spirit of a public service announcement.
We feel it’s our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our patients.
Reflecting on the dispiriting news with Esquire, Allen described the decision as being ‘less a statement about them [CBS] and more we think a statement about where we stand right now in this country’.
As reported by CNN, Acreage Holdings had been prepared to spend $5 million on having their ad shown at the Superbowl, aware of the incomparable impact the spot would have had.
The company will reportedly now publish a 60-second version of the ‘controversial’ ad on their website.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.