On Tuesday, MPP unveiled its billboard in support of boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who was fined $900,000 and handed a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for testing positive for marijuana.
Located at 2001 Western Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada, the graphic proclaims, “A majority of Nevadans support Julio’s SAFER choice,” referencing a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. “Stop driving athletes to DRINK!”
“Marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent and aggressive behavior than alcohol,” stated MPP’s director of communications, Mason Tvert. “The NSAC should change its marijuana policy and stop driving athletes to drink.”
The billboard and the NSAC’s illogical policy have garnered much attention. After waking up Tuesday morning to find his name splashed across MPP’s billboard, Chavez’s attorney Donald Campbell released a statement on his client’s behalf:
“In response to the many press inquiries regarding the Marijuana Policy Project’s billboard, we wish to reiterate that our client, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., does not encourage the illicit use of marijuana. That having been said, he is, nevertheless, most grateful for the very visible and vocal support of [MPP] as well as that of the many news and sports commentators nationwide who have condemned the unconstitutional, and indeed, draconian fine of $900,000 leveled against him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for having smoked a marijuana cigarette nine days before the Martinez fight.”
MPP is calling on the NSAC to drop the excessive penalties against Chavez and change its policy so that it no longer steers athletes toward using alcohol by threatening to punish them if they choose to use the less harmful substance – marijuana. The request will be delivered to the NSAC in the form of a Change.org petition.
Stand with Julio and add your name.