The group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is claiming victory in its battle to squelch what it says are illegal pot ads on prominent billboards.
SAM co-director Pamela McColl wants cities across Canada to remove billboards promoting Weedmaps, a website that advertises the locations of marijuana dispensaries.
One sign in Montreal has already been replaced with the image of a giraffe after McColl complained to Pattison Media, the company that owns the billboard. But she has says she won’t be satisfied until others in Toronto are removed as well and she believes others may have been posted in Vancouver. She says she has notified both the Toronto mayor and police chief about the matter and they are investigating.
The Trudeau government is committed to legalizing recreational marijuana by July 2018, but cannabis is still an illegal drug in Canada, and it is against the law to advertise the product.
SAM, an anti-marijuana advocacy group with scientists and health specialists on its board of directors, is leading the fight to stop the legislation.
McColl told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that the federal government needs to make it clear that the law has not yet been changed and won’t be until Parliament decides whether to legalize marijuana. “This is clearly illegal and carries a $5 million fine and/or two-year jail sentence under the Criminal Code of Canada,” McColl notes, “so why is this being allowed? Where is the government?”
McColl says she has reached out to Pattison Media and asked why they are accepting these ads.
She says what makes the it worse is that the Weedmaps ad in Montreal was close to three local schools.
Marijuana activist Marc-Boris St-Maurice told Global News Tuesday that the Weedmaps signs are merely providing a public service.
“Basically, Weedmaps is a website referral service to help people find retails stores or online services to buy cannabis,” he said.
The Daily Caller reached out to Weedmaps but the website has not yet responded to an online form requesting comment.