It was the first thing bought and sold on the Internet. Bill Murray likes it. Veterans like it. Your grandma maybe likes-slash-needs it. Carl Sagan really (really) liked it. Hell, we even took a trip to Colorado to learn about the so-called "green rush" cropping up around it. And now both medicinal and recreational cannabis are legal, taxed economies in parts of the US, there's bound to be television commercials highlighting it.
That time has come. The first weed commercial is slated to air on major networks, including A&E, Fox, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, and the History Channel. The minute-long spot is for MarijuanaDoctors, a company that connects medical marijuana patients with local doctors. The company does not “promote the casual or recreational use of marijuana or any other prescription medication,” though, according to their website.
The ad is airing in New Jersey, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2010. "Securing the airtime for our commercial on a major network was extremely difficult and at the same time, extremely satisfying," Jason Draizin, the founder and CEO of MarijuanaDoctors, said in a press release.
It's only slightly hokey. The ad compares buying weed from your run-of-the-mill dealer to buying sushi from a street dealer ("I got that sashimi"), which is clearly the most obvious correlation you could draw (black market tuna, anyone?). The idea seems to be to encourage people to go the legal route, as opposed to breaking the law to obtain weed.
At any rate, New Jersey is a prime test market to air the commercial. You can currently get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey for “cancer, glaucoma, positive HIV/AIDS status, or the treatment of these conditions; a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms; and other medical conditions that may administratively be added by the department," according to this state senate report.
But the Garden State has been talking about completely legalizing weed for a while now. State senator Nick Scutari recently said—wait for it—it's “high time” the state addresses the issue. If New Jersey does legalize weed, it would of course become the third state to do so, along with Colorado and Washington.
Which is all to say we’ve come a long way, now that pot is making its way onto the television in commercial form. Just in time for your nightly couch lock.
Via Motherboard Vice
New Jersey constituents have pressed Christie to sign the bill, which would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to grow more than three strains of marijuana and provide edible forms of the drug. Digestible methods are better suited to children because the process maintains the medical properties while removing many of the ‘high-like’ aspects popular among recreational smokers.
Christie said on Friday that he would sign the bill into law only under the conditions that edible forms of marijuana are available only to qualified children, and that a psychiatrist and pediatrician must authorize the child’s prescription. Neither provision would preclude children from gaining access to medical cannabis, but refusing to allow adult patients access to edible marijuana may pose an unnecessary risk to those with respiratory illnesses.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in New Jersey, but the bill would permit growers to produce more strains of the drug, thereby treating a higher number of patients more accurately. Children currently need three doctors’ signatures in order to be prescribed cannabis. With the current bill proposing that only one signature be needed, Christie seems to be splitting the difference.
The state legislature has not yet revealed if it would consider the changes.
Cannabis can help relieve symptoms from cancer, muscular dystrophy, lupus, and over 30 other illnesses. The drug is known to combat insomnia, lack of appetite, general pain, movement disorders, glaucoma, and vomiting, among other maladies.
“As I have repeatedly noted, I believe that parents, not government regulators, are best suited to decide how to care for their children,” Christie said in a Friday press conference. “I am making commonsense recommendations to this legislation to ensure sick children receive the treatment their parents prefer, while maintaining appropriate safeguards. I am calling on the legislature to reconvene quickly and address these issues so that children in need can get the treatment they need.”
The governor made headlines earlier this week when Brian Wilson, the father of a two-year-old girl who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, approached him asking for help.
“Please don’t let my daughter die, Governor,” Wilson said as Christie walked through a New Jersey diner surrounded by cameras. “Don’t let my daughter die.”
“These are complicated issues,” Christie said, to which Wilson replied it should actually be quite an easy decision.
“I know you think it’s simple and it’s not,” Christie responded.
Wilson told reporters after the scrum that if Christie did not agree to sign the bill on Friday he would be forced to move his family to Colorado, where children with Dravet have been cured of overwhelming seizures by using cannabis.