Just as fans were filing into the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a big television screen by the entrance displayed a pro-pot ad with the headline "A new beer?"
The ad, which opens with smiling young adults hoisting their brew mugs, drew outrage from lots of sources, including the St. Petersburg-based Drug Free America Foundation. The TV screen company, Grazie Media, pulled the ad after a few hours.
The ad said: "If you’re an adult who enjoys a good beer, there’s a similar product you might want to know about, one without all the calories and serious health problems. Less toxic so it doesn’t cause hangovers or overdose deaths. And it’s not linked to violence or reckless behavior. Marijuana. Less harmful than alcohol and time to treat it that way."
The ad is interesting in the context of an effort in Florida to get a proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot. People United for Medical Marijuana has collected enough voter signatures to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of the proposed amendment language.
The ad addresses many issues, but in this fact-check, we decided to focus on the idea that marijuana is "less toxic" than alcohol.