A public service announcement image from West Hollywood, California’s, “Weed Like You To Know” campaign advises residents and visitors where they are allowed to consume cannabis products. (Image courtesy of West Hollywood)
West Hollywood, the famously progressive, LGBTQ-friendly California city, has launched a “weed-positive” public service campaign to gently remind residents and visitors about the laws governing recreational cannabis consumption.
Called “Weed Like You to Know,” the clever awareness campaign is part spoof, part gentle reminder that although adult-use cannabis is legal in California, marijuana can be consumed only at appropriate locations. The city rolled out the campaign at 4:20 p.m. on April 20, 2019, with postcards, ads, and a WeHoTV public service announcement titled “Recreational Reefer Madness” — a campy parody of the old fearmongering movie — that makes tongue-in-cheek statements including, “We’re not saying that if you consume your recreational marijuana in public that you definitely will die in a fiery explosion — but do you really want to take that risk?”
Wedged between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, West Hollywood has long taken the lead on issues such as LGBTQ rights, gun control, and environmental protections. In December 2018, it also took the lead in approving social cannabis use when it issued 16 cannabis lounge licenses — eight for edibles-only consumption, and eight for smoking, vaping, or eating weed. The lounges are anticipated to open sometime in 2019.
What’s Behind The Campaign?
After January 1, 2018, when dispensaries were allowed to sell adult-use cannabis, West Hollywood officials began receiving complaints about unpermitted public consumption. “Particularly, some local businesses were having difficulties with individuals smoking cannabis on their patios, with the belief that it was legal to do so,” said John Leonard, West Hollywood’s Community and Legislative Affairs Manager.
With input from local business owners, the city launched the campaign to educate individuals about where they can and cannot legally consume marijuana. “Weed Like You To Know” also provides educational materials to local businesses and dispensaries that highlights the city’s support of legal cannabis consumption and further clarification on consumption laws.
Published: May 09, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News