Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Liz Braun
Page: 22


Group wants billboard near kids' music school taken down

Should a billboard claiming that marijuana legalization isn't harmful
be hanging over a kids' music school in North York?

That's the question being posed by Prevent, Don't Promote, an
organization opposed to the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Prevent, Don't Promote is particularly sensitive to anything that
looks like advertising or marketing to children.

The billboard in question hangs over Little Jammerz, a music school
that caters to children from Kindergarten to Grade 6, according to
their website.

And the billboard claims that legalizing marijuana in Colorado and
Washington states did not increase its use.

This is patently false, according to Rabbi David Cooper, a teacher and
member of Prevent, Don't Promote who has worked with drug users in the

"The word, 'marijuana' is on the sign, and kids can read that," says
Cooper - something he finds unconscionable to begin with.

"Legalization is the worst thing that could happen to

Prevent, Don't Promote has had several signs on their radar over the
last year, including some billboards in Montreal that advertise
Weedmaps - an online 'marijuana community' where types of cannabis and
local shops can be discussed and reviewed.

One of the billboards, on De Maisonneuve in Montreal, was taken down
by Pattison Media, which owns and leases the billboard space. This
action took place after an anti-legalization activist pointed out that
the billboard was near three schools.

The Toronto billboard near Little Jammerz, at 3867 Chesswood Drive, is
also a Pattison billboard.

A company spokesperson for Pattison said she had not received
complaints about it thus far.

In his experience, said Cooper, marijuana aggravates certain mental

And states such as Colorado, where dope is legal, "have had crazy

The billboard above the music school is deceptive, says Cooper,
because it aims to ease the conscience of any thinking person. "It's
propaganda, aimed at anyone with any doubts about legalization."

Nobody wants marijuana users thrown in jail, adds Cooper, who thinks
decriminalization is a good thing.

"But there's a big difference between decriminalization and
legalization, and I wonder if everyone knows the difference," he says.

"Legalization is crazy. It's not healthy. Legalization encourages drug

Still, the activists at

Prevent, Don't Promote, believe Pattison Media is culpable in these

"There's no way you can promote to kids and think you can get away
with it."

Health Canada says it is still illegal, even for licensed marijuana
producers and sellers, to advertise marijuana.
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