Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Medicann Signs Near OC High School Coming Down

Medical marijuana billboards near school coming down


November 16, 2009 5:15 PM

ANAHEIM - Three billboards located within a block of Magnolia High
school for a network of medical marijuana dispensaries will be removed
and replaced by public service announcements, officials with a billboard
company said today.

The billboards were erected within the past few weeks for MediCann, a
San Francisco-based network of clinics aimed at providing marijuana to
patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

The billboards, located near the corner of Ball Road and Gilbert Street,
originally depicted a man described as a plumber who was able to return
to work after suffering from back pain because he used marijuana. The ad
described the man as "A Typical Stoner," and also said "Marijuana

Those billboard signs were replaced last week by others that just
displayed MediCann, with the company Web site and toll free phone

A MediCann dispensary sits about four miles away on Ball Road and
Anaheim Street.

Mike Cossota, a sales manager with Lamar Advertising, the company that
owns the billboards, said advertisements for MediCann should have never
gone up so close to a school.

MediCann officials did not immediately return phone calls.

Cossota said his company inherited the billboards after Lamar
Advertising took over Vista Media, the billboard company that originally
contracted with MediCann.

"Our company policy is not to have any adult-themed billboards next to
schools or churches," he said. "We are going to take them down within
the next 48 hours."

Cossota said Lamar Advertising, which operates thousands of billboards
across the country, has a policy against placing any advertisements for
alcohol, medical marijuana, or other content not suitable for children
within 1,000 feet of schools or churches.

Lamar Advertising was unaware the billboards it inherited from Vista
Media for MediCann were adjacent to the school, Cossota said.

Linda Padilla, a grandparent of a student at nearby Savanna High School,
said she saw the billboards while driving by and was "outraged."

"My concern was that this advertisement was so close to the school," she
said. "We're trying to send a message to our children that drugs are
bad, but then they see signs like these ones."

Staff writer Mark Eades contributed to this report.

http://www.ocregist er.com/news/ billboards- 219682-medicann- school.html

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