The Marijuana Debate: How Both Sides Use Marketing As an Agenda

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One of the most contentious debates over the past few years has been the legalization of marijuana. Some Americans believe marijuana can be used recreationally or medicinally; others want it banned. As states continue to vote for or against marijuana, it’s important to understand how both sides of the issue are marketed. 

First of All, What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a product derived from the cannabis plant, of the Cannabaceae family. Marijuana is also known as weed or pot. Historically, it has been used for various purposes. The most common use of marijuana today is as a recreational drug. 

Almost 100 million Americans have tried marijuana, and millions regularly use it. When smoked, marijuana gives the user a sense of euphoria. The physical effects of marijuana are usually an elevated heart rate and food cravings. The amount of time these effects last depends on how much marijuana the user consumes; large doses may cause effects to linger for days. 

Although outlawed by the FDA, marijuana is rather harmless when compared to methamphetamines or LSD; still, it draws much criticism for being a “gateway drug.” According to specific surveys, a portion of pot smokers seek out more potent substances later on. Many TV commercials from the 1960s sought to discourage young people from experimenting with the drug. It is easy to see why marijuana has garnered a negative reputation, but marijuana has another notable role. 

What About Using Medical Marijuana?

Despite its risks, there is some proof that marijuana can be used to combat illness. Currently, medical marijuana can be prescribed as a treatment for nausea (when related to chemotherapy), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and multiple sclerosis (MS). The government restrictions on marijuana make it difficult to test as a reliable treatment for these conditions, and most data seems to be inconclusive. 

What Does Marketing Have To Do With It?

There has been a fight toward marijuana legalization since the 1970s, which is partially due to branding by the media and pop culture. (Branding is how a business markets its products or services). Famous celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus have been open about their enjoyment of marijuana, which might encourage fans to want to try it. Besides recreational use, cancer patients want to use it as alternative medicine. Both sides of the marijuana debate use marketing tactics such as public service announcements and social media to raise awareness. Obviously, medical marijuana dispensaries trump the drug’s benefits, while political campaigns against legalizing cannabis will highlight its dangers. One example of a cannabis branding agency would be the Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida. Marketing is the key to swaying public opinion, so it is crucial to be aware of each source’s intent. 

Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

As more states move to legalize marijuana, Americans need to decide for themselves what stance to take. They should pay attention to the marketing around the issue. Research viewpoints you aren’t certain of.


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