Preventing the Promotion of Pot
Posted by Councilmember Englander on March 02, 2018 at 2:11 PM
On Wednesday, City Council unanimously adopted my motion that seeks to prohibit advertisement related to marijuana.
In November of 2016, Californians voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. And although advertisements for tobacco have been banned nationwide for almost 50 years, these laws do not apply to the newly legal cannabis industry.
The proposition passed by voters includes a provision that could someday allow cannabis sellers to advertise their products in print ads, digital sites, on radio, and television though it prohibited the "marketing and advertising of non-medical marijuana to persons younger than 21 years old and near schools or other places where children are present."
While such restrictions are helpful, there is still a possibility and real concern that television commercials will some day arise featuring people smoking marijuana that would roll back decades of anti-smoking advertising protections. These ads could appear in prime time on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers.
In order to avoid normalizing drug use, it is important to take these precautionary steps now to prevent an unregulated advertising industry from proliferating to the point where it is too difficult to roll back. The next step in this process will be a report from the City Attorney's office that lays out our options for prohibiting the advertisement of marijuana.