First Medical Marijuana Ad Appears on Mainstream TV

Friday, March 07, 2014
Scene from medical marijuana TV ad (photo: via YouTube)

Marijuana will be hitting the airwaves in select American cities soon as the first-ever commercial promoting medicinal marijuana will air on broadcast and cable channels.


Produced by a company called, the one-minute television advertisement will be seen by viewers in New Jersey, Chicago and Massachusetts who watch Fox, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, AMC, Discovery and the Food Channel.


The comedic ad features a suspicious-looking individual working back alleys to sell sushi. At one point he thrusts opens his trenchcoat to reveal select cuts of sashimi for sale.


“You wouldn’t buy your sushi from this guy,” the voiceover says. “So why would you buy your marijuana from him?”


After years of having other ads rejected by the networks and billboard companies, the producer apparently decided that a lighter touch might help get the message across.


“We felt the viewing public would agree that in the states providing safe access, continuing to obtain medicine illegally is as absurd as purchasing raw fish from a drug dealer,” CEO Jason Draizin said in a prepared statement.


Landing a marijuana ad on major broadcast outlets is a big deal, said Marijuana Policy Project communications director Mason Tvert. “Marijuana has been demonized by our government for decades, so many people still have a knee-jerk negative reaction to anything that even mentions the substance,” he told Time. “Over the past decade, we have been rejected by countless TV networks and billboard companies.”


Currently, 20 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.


Fifteen states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot, and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized its recreational use.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Marijuana Legalization Makes TV Commercials Funny (by Tom Randall, Bloomberg)

This Medical Marijuana Ad Will Be First to Appear on Major Networks (by Katy Steinmetz, TIME)

First Marijuana Commercial Debuts on Major Network (YouTube)

CBS Bans Marijuana Legalization Ad in Times Square (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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