A Bad Move For One Marijuana Marketing Firm
The New York Times ran an article earlier this week about two young women on a mission to “rebrand” marijuana. I have read the article over and over and I honestly can not find anything good to say about it. I do not like the message that these women are sending, beginning with the picture above. Here the women stand among flourishing pot plants with smug looks and crossed arms. At first glance I couldn’t tell if they were trying to show their support of this plant or their disgust. Apparently others have received the same vibe. And, for the record, I purposely chose not to mention the company or the names of the women because I do not want to give them any more publicity. If you would like, you can read the full NY Times story here.
The main reason these women are receiving such criticism is because of the negative comments they made about the current state of the cannabis industry. In fact, after the article was published, they actually lost a client. It begins with the statement that their mission is, “…weeding out the stoners…We want to show the world that normal, professional, successful people consume cannabis.” It then goes on to compare dispensaries to “underground abortion clinics” and says that walking into a dispensary is like, “…walking into a stoner’s basement”. The women want people to stop using the word “pot” and to change the way people refer to using the plant. They feel that one should not say “smoke” but rather that they “consume”. The article ends with yet another bitter statement as the women claim that, “It’s about reaching nonconsumers. Women. Young people. Business professionals. Grandmothers and soccer moms. People like me.”
People like you? Well, exactly who do you think you are? And reaching nonconsumers sounds like a form of peer-pressure to me. There are currently enough people who use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes that it is estimated to be a legitimate $10 billion industry in just a few short years. The movement doesn’t need to attract any newcomers. It doesn’t need any more “Maureen Dowds” giving marijuana a bad rap because they didn’t take the time to educate themselves before jumping on the bandwagon. It doesn’t need everyone to run out and start smoking weed because it’s the cool thing to do right now. It needs the support and recognition that it has been fighting for since pot prohibition began.
The article asks, “How can the pot industry shed its stoner stigma?” Well, I for one believe that it is women like this that gave the industry the stigma in the first place. And guess what else ladies? “Stoners” are in fact normal, professional, and successful people. In fact, “stoners” are the reason that the marijuana legalization movement has gotten to where it is today. The pot industry doesn’t need to be rebranded so that people can feel better about themselves and tell their friends that, “I’m not a stoner, I’m a cannabis consumer”. As marijuana becomes more mainstream, what the movement needs is for people to stop pointing fingers, take a good look in the mirror, and start educating themselves on this history of prohibition, the “stoners” who have stood up for what they believed in, and the true benefits of this wonderful plant. It is only on a united front that Americans will ever feel safe enough to step out of the shadows and admit that you can be both a stoner and soccer mom at the same time.
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