Logos from the "Veterans For Weed" website have drawn complaints from military families.
A group of veterans calling for the legalization of marijuana plans to change its acronym after the Veterans of Foreign Wars sent a cease-and-desist order to the pot group’s organizers. But a controversial logo will remain, the pot advocates say.
The “Veterans For Weed,” a Milwaukee-based group that says “the real reefer madness” is when veterans get arrested for pot possession, has been using the acronym VFW on its website and promotional materials.
On Monday, attorneys for the venerable veterans group, which has fought for veterans’ rights to health care, education and other benefits for more than 100 years, sent an official complaint to the pot smokers.
The Veterans of Foreign War called the pot group use of the acronym “misleading and illegal,” Stars and Stripes reported.
In response to complaints, the pot backers said they removed VFW symbols as well as an online store selling merchandise from their website. They also said they would change their acronym to Veterans For Weed United (VFWU) in coming days.
As of Wednesday, however, the VFW name remained.
But the self-described group of stoners refused to take down their "POT POW" logo, which has drawn fire from veterans and military families.
The logo is a variation of the iconic Vietnam-era POW/MIA poster showing the silhouetted profile of a prisoner behind barbed wire. The original logo was created for the National League of POW/MIA Families, according to Stars and Stripes, and is not copyrighted.
Still, it is cherished symbol, and the National League of POW/MIA Families has asked that it be taken down from the website.
VFW spokesman Jerry Newberry called the pot backers' logo "disgusting" and said it has incited anger in military circles.
"I don't know if they're veterans or what, but they should respect what that symbol represents," Newberry told msnbc.com. "They are treading on memories of POW/MIA families."
The Wisconsin-based group does not show names of its leadership or members on its website. An email to the group from msnbc.com was not immediately returned.
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