Comcast Green-Lights Medical Marijuana Commercials, So Viewers Can Get A Pot Prescription From Their TV
Not sure where you can get your hands on a prescription for medical marijuana? Well, if you live in New Jersey, Massachusetts, or greater Chicago, your television might just have the answer. Comcast is set to run an ad for medical marijuana in these three markets, connecting viewers seeking legal medical marijuana with doctors who can prescribe it. The ads are due to kick off later this month in New Jersey, and will hit Massachusetts and the greater Chicago area in April.
It made sense for Comcast to green-light the ads, because medical marijuana is legal in the three markets in which the ads will run. According to Comcast spokeswoman Melissa Kennedy, the ads will run only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and will steer well clear of children's networks like the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. But viewers of CNN, the History Channel, and Comedy Central, among others, will be treated to the campaign.
MarijuanaDoctors.com, the company behind the New Jersey ads, has a network of over 300 doctors and 500 clinics across 20 states. According to its company website:
We do not promote the casual or recreational use of marijuana or any other prescription medication. We condone only the use of marijuana as a medication for recognized ailments in accordance with state law, as we believe it is a proven treatment for many medical conditions.
Check out their ad, which is due to run 800 times over two weeks in March in New Jersey. It's equal parts surreal and hilarious. It also may put you off sushi for life.
Of course, not everybody finds it so funny. Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana told USA Today that permitting the ads is another example of the commercialization and normalization of marijuana. The ads were targeted at those "staying up late who want to get stoned," Sabet and now they can claim a medical excuse."
"This is capitalism at its worst," he said. "Comcast is choosing profits over public health.''
There's no word yet on whether Comcast could take the ads into other markets, but state regulations may hold them back. For example, although Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, retail advertising of marijuana is restricted by state law.
But there's a decent chance that if more states decriminalize medical (and in some cases recreational) marijuana use, these ads will be joined by others like them.
Though perhaps they'll be less heavy on the sushi.