A Weedmaps billboard on M-99 south of Lansing near Eaton Rapids advertises a selected “fact” about legalized marijuana use.(Photo: Jonathan Oosting / The Detroit News)Buy Photo
Lansing – A marijuana-related firm called Weedmaps is bringing its own “weedfacts” to Michigan during an ongoing petition drive seeking to put a marijuana legalization question on the 2018 statewide ballot.
The California-based “technology and marijuana discovery service” company is paying for 22 pro-pot billboards in the Lansing region, 12 around Ann Arbor and six in Metro Detroit as part of an international campaign also targeting six other states and Canada.
The billboards feature selective statistics showing unchanged youth use, increased tax revenue, theft reductions and other developments in states that have already legalized weed. Five different versions are running in Michigan, which is creating and implementing new medical marijuana regulations.
The goal, according to the company, is “to provide communities with credible, verifiable facts about the benefits of legal marijuana,” although critics argue the statistics do no tell the full story about the effects in other states.
“As Michigan residents consider a marijuana legalization petition, and changes to dispensary regulatory requirements go into effect throughout the state, there is a lot of marijuana misinformation out there,” a Weedmaps spokesman told The Detroit News.
“So we think it’s important to share and talk about the benefits, underpinned by research, regarding marijuana. We want Michiganders to be informed, and we want to foster open, informed discussion and debate.”
Weedmaps did not disclose how much it is spending on the Michigan billboards. It has a rooting interest in legalization.
The company operates a website and mobile app that help connect marijuana users with legal medical or recreational dispensaries, which pay to be on the map and can purchase additional advertising