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Michael Bloomberg the unwilling poster boy


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - He's a billionaire; he's the mayor of the largest U.S. city and soon he will be the unwilling poster boy for an advertising campaign to decriminalize marijuana.

The NORML Foundation, a group calling for the legalization of marijuana, said on Monday it would launch a $500,000 campaign featuring a statement by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, made to a magazine before he was elected, that he smoked pot and enjoyed it.

The mayor, just over 100 days into his term, doesn't seem too pleased about the campaign.

"I'm not thrilled," said Bloomberg, when asked about it during a City Hall press conference. He added that all city laws on marijuana would continue to be enforced.

Asked if he had ever smoked marijuana, the billionaire entrepreneur with a reputation for socializing was quoted in the April 16, 2001, issue of New York magazine as saying, "You bet I did, and I enjoyed it."

The NORML Foundation said the ads respectfully urge Bloomberg to stop arresting and jailing the city's pot smokers and will be seen on transit system billboards, telephone kiosk posters, and in a full page ad in The New York Times.

The ad's tagline says, "It's NORML to Smoke Pot."

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