NEW YORK CITY - The man rounding up a phalanx of news photographers for a photo op outside NFL headquarters in Manhattan is a familiar face in Colorado but a new opponent for league executives.
Mason Tvert, the longtime advocate for legal marijuana in Colorado, medicinal and recreational, came to NFL head quarters during the league's big week to generate buzz for a campaign aiming to change the NFL's anti-marijuana policies.
"The NFL's marijuana policy punishes players simply for making the voice to use marijuana when it's legal in some of the states where these players play," Tvert said. "Our goal is to change the NFL's policy and have it reflect the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that he would consider allowing players to use medical marijuana if that change in policy is recommended by the league's own medical experts. It's not, as of yet.
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These days, Tvert is working with the Marijuana Policy Project, which bought space on five billboards in New Jersey not far from the site of the Super Bowl. Tvert says it's not a matter of capitalizing on a game between teams from the two states that have legal marijuana.
"Really it's matter of the fact that we got a good deal on billboards," Tvert said.
He is a happy warrior, fresh of legalization wins in Colorado and Washington as well as polls showing record support nationally for medical marijuana.
Tvert massed the assembled photographers for a march up the steps outside the NFL offices to deliver a petition. Then the league's security staff called an audible. A representative came outside and offered to take the petition inside. He also informed photographers to stay off the steps.
As the security officer retreated into league headquarters, petition in hand, Tvert was undeterred.
"As long as someone at the NFL has to spend a minute of their day thinking about it, it's a victory," Tvert said.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)