PORTLAND – A new billboard will be unveiled in downtown Portland Thursday that’s likely to raise some eyebrows.
The billboard (shown above) will feature a photo of a glass of beer, a glass of wine, and a marijuana leaf. And below each photo, the words will read: “Beer," "Wine," and "Safer," respectively. It will be located at Southwest 13th Avenue and Southwest Alder Street.
A group called The Marijuana Policy Project paid for the advertisement. They said they want to encourage people “to think about how marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol to consumers and the community,” according to spokesman Roy Kaufmann.
He added that the timing of the billboard was intentionally chosen to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Month, in April, and the many upcoming beer and wine festivals.
"Our goal is to make this year's beer and wine festivals as educational as they are enjoyable," said Kaufmann said. "We simply want attendees who are drinking to think about the fact that marijuana is objectively less harmful than the pint of beer or glass of wine they have in their hands."
The Marijuana Policy Project contends that pot is less toxic and less addictive than alcohol. Members hope the billboard will bring attention to their message.
“We hope that festival-goers who support keeping marijuana illegal will ask themselves why they think adults should be punished for using a substance that is safer than the ones they are celebrating."
The group will officially unveil the new billboard Thursday at a 10:30 a.m. press conference.