Colorado TV Station Puts The Kibosh On First Recreational Marijuana Ad Amid Legality Questions

(via CNNMoney)

(via CNNMoney)

It almost was, until it wasn’t: The first recreational marijuana TV ad ever got pulled from its slotted schedule last night amid legal concerns. The thing is, while marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado and some other states, it’s still illegal in the eyes of the federal government, putting it in a gray zone in matters of banking and advertising, among other things.

In Colorado, it’s legal to air marijuana TV ads when 70% of the audiences is 21 or older. The ad in question was slated for a late night slot around the time of Jimmy Kimmel Live, when 97% of the audience as at least 21, according to Nielsen figures.

The ad was for Neos, a company that makes cannabis oil and vaporizers, and it was supposed to air on an KMGH, an ABC affiliate in Denver, late on Monday night, reports CNNMoney.

The ad features young people doing fun things like dancing up on each other in clubs and scaling mountains, with a voiceover pointing out that this kind of person could be you. Marijuana itself is never mentioned nor shown.

“You lead an adventurous life, always finding new ways to relax,”the narrator says. “Now enjoy the best effects and control with Neos portable vape pen and recreate discreetly this summer.”

At the end, we see campers playing a guitar and hanging out, generally having a nice, relaxing time.

“A bold new way to unwind. Neos, recreate responsibly,” the voiceover says.

Because weed is still illegal according to the feds, the station decided to err on the side of caution and not air the ad.

“Scripps has decided not to accept marijuana advertising at this time,” a spokeswoman for the E.W. Scripps Company, which owns the station, told CNNMoney. “We are proud to be a company of free speech and open expression, but we have concerns about the lack of clarity around federal regulations that govern broadcast involving such ads.”

The ad agency that produced the Neos spot noted that the channel is officially putting all cannabis commercials on hold until further notice, citing an investigation into the legality of airing an ad for a “federally illegal” substance on federal airwaves.

Watch the pot ad that got yanked off TV [CNNMoney]