Article by Tammi Stanhope, High! Canada
It’s official, cannabis is now legal I for both recreational and medicinal use in Canada! When it comes to promoting actual cannabis products though, don’t expect to see an influx of ads any me soon. The regulations for cannabis advertising are very similar to those for tobacco. The Cannabis Act states that one of its purposes is to “protect young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis.” T his includes prohibiting promotions, packaging, and types of products that are appealing to minors. This point seems prey obvious to most if not to all people, however, when comparing it to ACTUAL harmful but well compensated for advertisements for alcohol and current pharmaceuticals, it’s not so cut and dry.
From Mikes Hard Lemonade’s use of Deadpool on their labels to a tv commercial depicting a young college girl smiling on a sunny morning because she took some Ambien the night before to get proper rest, that’s not enticing to minors? Slowly brainwashing them over the course of their entire lives through tv, movies, music and social media with images that taking pills and drinking alcohol at every given opportunity is the most enjoyable and safe way to get through life? According to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alchohol and Drugs, researchers concluded that the more exposure kids had to alcohol ads (mostly during sports programs) the more they consumed those specific brands. That coupled with the study that kids ages 11 to 14 typically see 2 to 4 alcohol ads per day is prey disturbing considering we know for a FACT the harm associated with alcohol and prescription drug use.
Then there is legal medical and recreational cannabis…..
There is a program called The Newspapers in Education (NIE) which is an International initiative that began in 1955 aimed to improve media literacy in schools, and of which until recently Postmedia was a part of. It was just announced the first week of November they must pull from the program and explore ways to reintroduce it so that it complies with the new Cannabis Act.
Now let me see if I understand this correctly… It has been scientifically proven (with continued ongoing testing) that cannabis assists with many medical conditions, illnesses, and diseases often being used as a treatment “in place” of harmful chemicals, and substances and this is something the government has decided the public doesn’t want their children to know about?
With the current advertising laws in place, I don’t see how any ad could be made appealing to youth in a non-medical way and entice them into a life of abusing cannabis. If anything, we should be having open discussions with young people about the FACTS around cannabis and the dangers that may present itself if consumed before a young brain has me to grow properly. Instead, we issue countrywide advertising restrictions on a plant that needs to be desensitized and taught about in schools at all levels. Not only because of its thousands of years of historical and global use but the fact that it will be something used for centuries to come.
As a country that the rest of the world is watching during this global shi, I feel it’s our responsibility to take lead and show our youth a different future that isn’t full of alcohol and pills, but more about education, natural ways to heal the body and less harmful ways to have a good me. Given the mess we live in, with advertising being the centre of social media/tv/movies etc., whether it be black, grey or green market, the advertising is not going anywhere. If you want cannabis to be out of the hands of criminals, and stop minors from consuming, then preventing companies like Postmedia from participating in an International Education program within our schools seems counterproductive.
Start educating and inspiring a new generation of degrees in botany, biochemistry, engineering, and PhDs. Perhaps making use of programs such as The Newspapers in Education (NIE) and implementing some mandatory cannabis education within these papers who participate would be of more value to our youth, future and tax dollars, than a Canada wide advertising ban on a LIFE-SAVING plant that is now and should have ALWAYS been legal.