Remember the photos of a young, baby faced Barack smoking hand-rolled ciggies? Well, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has pissed off the taker of those photos through some, er, creative “Fair Use” appropriation.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has produced a psychedelic, ’60s-style poster featuring a photo of college freshman “Barry” Obama smoking. Above his super-bad Panama hat is the slogan: Yes We Cannabis.
Artist Sonia Sanchez created the poster for NORML’s annual conference using a picture taken at Occidental College in 1980 by the future president’s classmate Lisa Jack. In the original photo, Obama is holding a real cigarette to his lips. Sanchez tweaked the smoking material to fit her theme, but otherwise the image is unchanged.
The pro-pot group never sought Jack’s permission, even though it is selling the poster as well as giving it away to conference-goers, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre acknowledged in an interview with The Washington Post.
Jack told the Post she’s “very irritated” and does not want her work, which is on display at a Los Angeles gallery, used in this way.
NORML believes it’s protected by “fair use” rules, but it’s far from a clear-cut case. Ashby Jones writes on The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog it “just might take the cake as Best Fair-Use Smackdown Ever.”
I’m not a pot smoker but I have to admit … that’s a pretty cool poster. Crazy. But kind of awesome.