The Marijuana Policy Project has not only produced a billboard calling on the National Football League to stop punishing players for using marijuana, but has posted that billboard in front of Sports Authority Field at Mile High today, 24 hours before the Denver Broncos host the first NFL regular season game of the year.

The 48-foot-wide Broncos-themed billboard highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol and urges the NFL to "stop driving players to drink" with harsh penalties for marijuana use, noting that, "A safer choice is now legal (here)." Colorado voters approved an initiative in November making marijuana legal for adults, and the U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that it will allow the state to move forward with regulating marijuana cultivation and retail sales.

"For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "The league would never punish a player simply for having a couple beers, so why does it penalize them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive and less likely to contribute to violence?"

The Marijuana Policy Project has also launched a Change.org petition directed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, calling on the NFL to change its marijuana policy. You can find the petition here