Arizona: Halloween Billboard Highlights Fact That Marijuana Is Less Harmful Than Alcohol


Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Monday launched a Halloween-themed billboard that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

The orange and black ad, which satirizes “Reefer Madness”-style anti-marijuana propaganda, comes as opponents of the proposed initiative are ramping up efforts to scare voters into keeping marijuana illegal for adults. It features a screaming face and reads, “MARIJUANA: LESS toxic! LESS addictive! LESS scary than ALCOHOL!”

“Marijuana is illegal thanks to decades of anti-marijuana propaganda and fear mongering,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Once people find out it is actually safer than alcohol, they tend to agree it should not be a crime for adults to use it responsibly.

“Over the next 12 months, our opponents are going to do everything they can to scare Arizonans into keeping marijuana illegal,” Holyoak said. “We just want voters to remember that we’re talking about a substance that is proven to be less harmful than alcohol.”

Marijuana dependence is significantly less likely and less severe than than alcohol dependence, according to researchers at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attribute more than 2,000 U.S. deaths per year to alcohol poisoning, whereas there has never been a confirmed marijuana poisoning death in history.

More information about the relative potential harms of marijuana and alcohol is available at

“Nobody is saying marijuana is harmless, but the scientific and medical communities are saying it is less harmful than alcohol,” Holyoak said. “It’s time to put the ‘Reefer Madness’ in the past. Our marijuana laws should be based on facts instead of fear.”

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is supporting a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit