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Pro-marijuana ad, ‘New Beer,’ will greet fans at Indy (UPDATE: It’s been pulled)

NASCAR fans headed to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the Brickyard 400 will be a select group: the first fans ever to see a pro-marijuana legalization ad so close to the gate of a major sporting event.

The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest marijuana advocacy group, created the ad, "New Beer," which uses the classic good-time-partyin' beer style to push the superiority of marijuana. According to the ad's narrator, marijuana has "no calories," "no hangovers," and "it's not linked to violent or reckless behavior." The ad's kicker: "Less harmful than alcohol, and time to treat it that way."

The ad will be displayed on a Jumbotron outside IMS. The MPP created the ad from stock footage at a cost of about $350, and is paying the nonprofit rate of $2,200 to get the ad shown approximately 70 times over the course of the three-day race weekend.

The Jumbotron isn't on track property, and thus neither NASCAR nor the track can have any voice over what it broadcasts. Still, brings a new meaning to "green flag," yes?

(UPDATE: After learning of the ad's content, the board operator has removed the ad, but not before it was on display during the day on Friday. A spokesperson who asked to remain anonymous told the Indianapolis Star that "We didn't expect this ad to be interpreted the way it did.")

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