Should Cannabis Advertising Be As Regulated As Tobacco?
Now that recreational marijuana is legal here in Michigan, dispensaries are popping up all over and are trying to advertise. However, one state representative wants to introduce a bill that would regulate how that advertising is done.
You've probably seen some billboards sprinkled along Michigan roads for various dispensaries and other cannabis resources? I know I have and as someone who, personally, is very perfectly fine with it all, I will say I think they have all been in good taste.
However, according to FOX 47, Republican State Rep. Mary Whiteford of Allegan County feels they are "unsettling."
"So I’m a grandma. My granddaughter is six and my grandsons are three and one," Whiteford explains. "And as I drive down the highway I see these glorious brightly colored billboards. As I look closer, its for marijuana."
Whiteford does also raise a point that is worth some conversation about how we can't have tobacco billboards due to our stringent regulations on advertising for tobacco products.
This is where FOX 47 provides some insight from Stephen Linder of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association.
Linder points out there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the cannabis industry, all the good it has actually done for the Michigan economy and how marijuana and cannabis products are used medicinally.
When it comes to the "marijuana vs. tobacco" advertising debate, Linder explains to FOX 47 how that comparison "doesn't hold up":
“Tobacco is listed as a carcinogen and it has to be properly labeled. Cannabis is not listed as a carcinogen. It is considered medicine. At least those products that pass the testing standards," Linder said. "And most cannabis products are not smoked. Most cannabis products are ingested in the form of edibles."
Though Linder and Whiteford are on opposite sides of the issue, Linder hopes they can come together and figure something out that makes everyone comfortable and happy.
Until then, it gives us time to have some conversations (or just some fights in the comment sections) about it.
As far as where I stand on this, I think the cannabis is doing great things for Michigan and I truly believe when it comes to their advertising, I have seen some billboards that have made me giggle, but have not seen anything that was all-too shocking. They are doing it tastefully , not just blowing up a picture of someone smoking or something, and they really don't "have" to.
However, I think if they had more of a "guide" as to what is to be expected also wouldn't be a terrible idea just so nobody unknowingly crosses any lines.
There are billboards for gun stores, shooting ranges and other various "hot-button" topics everywhere. Personally, I have seen plenty more anti-abortion billboards that have been more "unsettling" to me than for dispensaries and honestly, it's something you usually only see for half a second as you pass by so what is really the big deal?
What are your thoughts?
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