As Chavez prepares to file lawsuit challenging $900,000 fine and nine-month suspension for testing positive for marijuana – a substance far less harmful than alcohol – the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization calls on NSAC to drop the penalties and ‘stop driving athletes to drink’
Billboard references new poll showing solid majority of Nevada voters support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol
A provocative billboard will be unveiled Tuesday that defends boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.’s “SAFER choice” to use marijuana instead of alcohol. Chavez is preparing to file a lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), challenging the $900,000 fine and nine-month suspension he received for testing positive for marijuana.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will hold a news conference Tuesday at 12 noon PDT in front of the billboard at 2001 Western Avenue, where it will call on the NSAC to drop the excessive penalties against Chavez and change its policy so that it no longer steers athletes toward using alcohol by threatening to punish them if they choose to use the less harmful substance – marijuana.
MPP will formally deliver the request to the NSAC in the form of a Change.org petition that currently has more than 5,250 signatures.
“Issuing such harsh penalties for marijuana does nothing to promote the health and safety of athletes,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for MPP. “If anything, it puts them in danger by steering them toward using alcohol and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead.”
“Marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent and aggressive behavior than alcohol,” Tvert said. “The NSAC should change its marijuana policy and stop driving athletes to drink.”
The billboard highlights a previously unreleased poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that found a solid majority (54 percent) of Nevada voters would support a ballot initiative to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol.
A bill to make marijuana legal for adults was introduced in the Nevada Legislature on Friday by Assemblyman Joe Hogan.
WHAT: News conference to unveil billboard decrying Nevada State Athletic Commission’s punishment of boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. for making the “SAFER choice” to use marijuana instead of alcohol
WHEN: Tuesday, March 19, 12 p.m. PDT
WHERE: In front of the billboard at 2001 Western Ave., Las Vegas
WHO: Mason Tvert, Marijuana Policy Project director of communications