Announcing our Journal Sentinel Legalization Ad Campaign

This is an older blog post announcing the Journal Sentinel ad and does not contain the latest information. For the latest information regarding our Journal Sentinel ad, please click here (

The Vision

A full page ad in a Sunday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with a big headline reading, "We support the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use". Beneath that, taking up the rest of the page, is a big pot leaf formed out of thousands of people's names.

The Plan

We need 3,500 people to each donate $5.00 to be able to afford this ad. The pot leaf in the ad will be formed by names of all of the donors. We are setting a deadline of January 31st for donations to be in. We hope to run the ad a few weeks later unless a more strategic time presents itself.

The Rational

The Sunday Journal Sentinel is the most read newspaper in the state. Many state legislators and probably the governor at least skim the Journal Sentinel, especially the Sunday edition, and a full page ad with a huge pot leaf and a big, bold, clear statement will be impossible to ignore. It will also be seen by hundreds of thousands of regular Wisconsinites across the state. To supporters, it will be a call to action and a sign of momentum for our movement; to those who are unconvinced of the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition, it will be a conversation starter that will lead to questioning the status quo; and to everyone, it will be a demonstration of our movement's ability to organize and a message that we refuse to be ignored any longer!

This is not just an ad simply meant to convey a message and then be forgotten. This is an ad meant to spark discussion and debate, to very publicly announce to the world that we are stepping up our efforts and that we are serious about what we want. Since marijuana legalization is a very controversial subject, and our ad will be very high-profile, I expect the ad to become a topic of discussion on local talk shows and be a newsworthy topic in and of itself. The facts are on our side, and more public discussion about marijuana will only lead to more people becoming informed and calling for an end to prohibition.

The Inspiration

In the fall of 2004, the Mozilla Foundation had a similar campaign to promote the Firefox web browser. Over a couple of months they raised over $200,000 from over 10,000 supporters for a 2-page ad in the New York Times. The ad itself generated much publicity due to it's grassroots support and unique nature. For more information see or or do a Google search for "Firefox New York Times Ad".

The Beginning

Again, the ad is not meant to simply be seen for a day and then be forgotten as we return to business as usual. The ad should coincide with a tidal wave of pro-marijuana activism. It should help spark the fire of reform in our great state and get everyone primed to our message so that as we fuel the debate they will pay attention. We need to be prepared so that when the thousands of marijuana reform supporters see the message that the time for action is at hand, we will be ready to lead them and put their enthusiasm to work for change. Therefore, in addition to your donation in support of the ad, we would like to see you become an active member of Southeastern Wisconsin NORML and help take a leadership role in the coming marijuana revolution. See the Join Us page for more information.

The Details

Because the power of the ad is in the shear quantity of names and the show of grassroots support, we are only collecting $5.00/person for the ad and we will not allow anonymous donations for the ad. Additional donations to our general fund are also appreciated (and won't get your name put in the newspaper, if that's something that worries you) and should be made through the donation button at the bottom of every page on our site.

If, for whatever reason, we are unable to meet our 3,500 person goal, we will still purchase the largest ad we can with the money raised. If more than 3,500 people donate, we will continue to add all of the names to the ad. Any money raised in excess of the amount needed to run the ad will go either toward purchasing a second page of ad space, adding color to the ad, or Southeastern Wisconsin NORML's general fund; exactly where it will go still needs to be decided, but we can assure you that it will be put to good use.

An example of the ad's design should be available soon.

To donate to the ad, please click this donate button:

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