Should Ads for Medicinal Marijuana Air on TV?

KGTV in San Diego recently aired a news byte on television ads for medicinal marijuana dispensaries that have aired in California. I’d embed the accompanying video, but the site doesn’t allow, so you can click the link to see in part one of the ads that aired. I personally didn’t find anything offensive about it – it looked tastefully done and included testimonials from people I presume are card holders using cannabis to treat their respective ailments. Of course, there are opponents to the ads, claiming pro-marijuana advocates are using television to entice youth into using.

When you think about it, though, who isn’t using television to entice people? It’s hardly a new phenomenon – fast food restaurants, beer companies, and mobile phone providers produce all manner of commercials for their products, selling with sex and appealing to the masses that you aren’t cool unless you’re drinking this or wearing that. By this logic, it’s implied that the dispensaries behind these TV ads are trying to make marijuana more attractive.

Actually, I would argue the ads are there to make people aware of the medicinal alternative – whether or not you choose to take advantage is up to you. I’d need to see the ad in whole, but even I know that unlike going into McDonald’s, one cannot just walk into a dispensary and start pointing at stuff on the menu. You need the card to shop. If people should be upset about something, I read on Twitter this morning that the Hardee’s Monster Biscuit has 770 calories and a day’s worth of saturated fat and sodium. Hardee’s, of course, can air commercials all they want – where’s the outrage for their promoting a heart attack on a biscuit?

What do you think? Should ads for dispensaries air on TV? Do you think we’ll see more in Cali if Prop 19 passes?

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