People tend to have a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to advertising. They think of Mad Men – a bunch of bourbon-drunk suits staggering around some forty stories in the air, ogling secretaries and trying to put a friendly face on cigarettes or napalm. Normally, concepts like “ethics” and “morality” aren’t the first things that leap to mind.
But as the new cannabis industry grows and its market matures, there is an opportunity – nay, a moral imperative – in how we choose to advertise it. The face we give cannabis products and the industry as a whole has implications that extend far beyond the bottom line.
It actually might change the world.
The benefits of legal green
The Drug Policy Alliance reports that roughly 10,000 “green” jobs have been added to the Colorado workforce since they went legal. Retail clerks, edibles cooks, farmers, trimmers, reviewers, web developers, regulators, consultants, tourism agencies, and a slew of other support services have all sprung up to maintain the new industry. And states with medicinal or recreational legalization are raking in millions in taxes.
What’s more, millions of state and local dollars have been redirected from enforcing pointless marijuana policies to better uses.
According to Seattle Police Spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, legalization has allowed the SPD to shift a substantial amount of resources toward tackling the heroin epidemic, which is their “number one issue” when it comes to drugs. Low-level pot offenses have dropped by 98% among of-age smokers, and by 63% among all age groups. At the same time, youth usage hasn’t gone up, and neither have traffic fatalities.
“When we’re talking about recreational pot in Washington state, how has it changed our organization? It really hasn’t,” said Sergeant Whitcomb. “I think that’s a testament to the fact that the law has changed. The negative things that some people predicted haven’t come true. Society hasn’t fallen apart.”