Los Angeles, CA – “The times, they are a changin’, again,” remarked Henry “Pops” Champion to a group of medical marijuana clinic owners and pot growers who all agree that it is time to finally pull out all the stops in getting marijuana prohibition lifted in California, and eventually, nationwide. Pops has been a lifelong smoker and proponent of legalized marijuana.
“Way back in 1996, Proposition 215 was passed allowing anyone with a doctor’s note to cultivate and use medical marijuana in California for a number of ailments, and in our efforts to assist those folks by offering quality grown and processed medical marijuana--not that street dope--we’ve been harassed like common criminals, and it’s time we spoke up for ourselves,” Pops continued.
“Some folks say we want to make California the Netherlands of the United States. That’s simply not true. We don’t want to be another Netherlands. Hell, man, we can’t even speak Dutch,” said Champion, to thunderous applause.
Yuri Lehigh then took the stage. “Man, all our lives we’ve tried to tell people that pot is a lot less harmful than booze and pharmaceuticals, but would the Feds listen? No. Now, after years of abusing alcohol and pills in place of marijuana, only because we could obtain them legally, we find our health dwindling and, ironically, one of the best natural substances for our ailments, from tired eyes to over-worked livers is pot. When are they going to wake up and smell the bud, man?”
“I mean, have you seen the ads on television for some of those ‘legal’ prescription drugs they’re trying to push on us, man? Clear up your allergies, but at the same time, be careful cause you’re gonna get dizzy and pass out and have bad stomach cramps and diarrhea and what not, man, but yeah, like you sure will breathe better. That is like total bullshit, man,” said Lehigh.
He continued, “and booze and beer commercials, what the fu*k is that, man? Have a few beers at a game, drink yourself silly on some Spiced Rum or Kaluha at a friend’s house, but hey, don’t drive. How the hell do you think they’re gonna get home, man? Sure, like anyone is gonna drink responsibly. The whole thing’s a ruse, man. We all know pot is way safer and we have to find a way to get that point across.”
A budget of several million dollars has been put aside by private business owners to fund the marketing campaign on legalizing marijuana, as well as offering several marijuana-based products. We spoke to an ad executive sent to the meeting to get some ideas about what direction they want the ad campaign to take. “Off the top of my head, man, I think what we want to do first is alleviate the notion that pot is a gateway drug and instead, do a little play on words and portray pot as a ‘gateway to health’ drug instead.”
“Then,” he said, “we want to take marijuana as mainstream as we can as quickly as we can. Think Burt’s Bees-type coverage. This Burt guy starts out with a few beehives and selling honey by the side of the road and today, he’s got candles, lip balms, lotions, you name it, in drug stores and co-ops around the country. We want the same type of exposure.”
We wanted to know if he knew that there were already several ad campaigns running in the state of California trying to push legalization of marijuana, and he said that he did, “but,” he said, “they don’t seem to be making much of an impact. We think our campaign will push the Feds over the edge and ultimately give the people what they want. This isn’t about taxes, it’s not about politics, it is about people wanting their marijuana without going to jail for it, period.”
We asked him how you can market something that is still considered an illegal substance, and he responded by saying “the way we figure it, if we put it out there as a legitimate product, the Feds sooner or later will fold under the pressure of having to do their jobs and regulate it, just like in the pharmaceutical and alternative medicine industry, and that’s when we’ll make our move to get pot accepted in the public eye. We’re even thinking about a complete line of herb teas called ‘Mary-Jane Herbal Wonder Teas.’ With all the things you can do with weed, man, the sky’s the limit once it’s legalized, and we want to make sure we’re ready to deliver products when that day comes.”
The main target audience of the ad campaign will be the over-50 crowd who have been fighting the good fight for over 40 years now, and it’s a pretty safe bet that if pot were legal, would make up the biggest demographic for sales. Said Pops, “They love the shit, man, you know? And we’re gonna do our best to see that it gets legalized in our lifetime, so they can start enjoying it in as many products as we can come up with.”