It’s one thing to decriminalize cannabis, but it’s another to encourage use with marketing and advertising that reaches kids.
And that’s the problem: Almost all commercial advertising makes its way to the eyes and ears of children. If we care about public health, we should ban all cannabis ads.
San Diego banned cannabis billboards within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds and daycare centers. But kids in cars go everywhere, especially teenagers, which means marijuana messaging is still seeping into young minds, associating pot smoking with fun activities like rollerblading.
When I would fly to Palm Springs for work — as I did routinely before the pandemic — the first thing I saw when I get off the plane was a large, shiny, well-lit picture of cannabis buds advertising the name, address and phone number of a nearby dispensary. Only a few feet later, I saw a similar sign advertising cannabis tours.
At the baggage claim, all eyes were on a large sign for the Cannabis Consumption Lounge: “Smoke It. Eat It. Drink It. Enjoy It.” Cannabis advertising is everywhere these days, just like the pot shops themselves, including the rather baffling drive-through dispensary I saw on my last trip to the Golden State, and the cannabis delivery services that have surged in popularity amid the pandemic.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News