Earlier this week, a television commercial advertising medicinal marijuana was aired in California – the first ever broadcast in the U.S. The ad was shown over Fox affiliate KTXL in Sacramento, and has swirled up a nice little cloud of controversy from community members who worry about the commercial’s effect on children. The ad itself features a series of testimonials from customers, all A-typical of our drug culture stereotypes: A pretty young woman claims she was diagnosed with a bone disease, while a middle-aged woman says she was hit by a drunk driver.
Cannabis, now legal for medical use by prescription in 14 states, is used as an alternative to pain killers and because advertisement of prescription drugs is entirely legal, it could be tough for naysayers to push for the regulation of the broadcasts. It’s unlikely that legislation prohibiting just cannabis commercials would manifest out of objections to the ads without effecting marketing for all prescription drugs, a trend we saw lead by products like Viagra, America’s ‘Vitamin V’ famously endorsed by U.S. Senator Bob Dole in the late 1990s.
So who will be pot’s first paid spokesman? Bill Maher, we’re looking at you.