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Billboard War On The Interstate? Companies Offer Different Perspectives On Weed

A New Haven-based addiction treatment organization is going after the messaging on an interstate billboard with another billboard.

Turnbridge had a billboard put up on I-91 northbound in New Haven days after Weedmaps, a company that connects marijuana users to dispensaries, released a message that referenced recreational pot for legal sale in Massachusetts.

Diana Clark, a family outreach specialist for Turnbridge, said that her company is concerned that the Weedmaps sign that reads, “Weed is legal in 60 miles,” normalizes the use of marijuana.

“They’ve found that where there are billboards for substances, there is a youth uptick in approval and potential use,” Clark said. “We’re looking at that and we really just want people to know that if they do become one of the people who become derailed by their marijuana use, that there is treatment available.”

The Weedmaps billboard went up near exit 4 on I-91 on January 23. The Turnbridge sign is located about four exits up the road. It reads “treatment is closer.”

“We encourage and advocate for responsible consumption of legal, adult use cannabis,” said Carl Fillichio, Weedmaps’ spokesperson in a written statement to Connecticut Publlic Radio.

Fillichio added that the Weedmaps company website can serve as a resource for people to learn more about cannabis.

Turnbridge has used this billboard campaign to remind Connecticut residents that recreational marijuana use in this state is illegal, so they shouldn’t transport weed bought in Massachusetts – where it is legal – back across state lines.

Clark hopes that people with a genetically pre-disposition to addiction won’t see the sign and then make that 60-mile trip north to buy marijuana.

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