#2. Weed Commercials Will Be Obnoxious
By a wide margin, the most annoying thing about marijuana is the people who smoke it. Not all of u- them, of course, but you know the kind. I'm talking about the weed smoker who doesn't just take to it as a means to catch a buzz, but instead adopts marijuana culture as a lifestyle. They grow white person dreadlocks and hang Jamaican flags in their dorm rooms and shit.
"Chant down Babylon!"
They are, in short, stereotypical stoners, and being associated with their shenanigans is one of the unfortunate downsides of smoking weed, much like anyone who drinks Budweiser is presumed to be racist.
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Or a professional driver.
When across the board legalization finally clears the way for corporate America to start peddling pot, is there any reason to expect that they'll hit on anything but the most stereotypical and embarrassing aspects of weed culture when it comes time to advertise their brands to the public?
There's already an early frontrunner for the title of most annoying marijuana ad of all time, courtesy of Seattle-based company Prohibition Brands. Watching this past the one-minute mark with the sound turned on should be enough to make even the staunchest of marijuana activists consider giving tequila another try:
Even with the sound off, the images that unfold in this Ca$h 4 Gold-style plea for funding sets any progress toward making marijuana seem like anything other than the drug of choice for the emotionally stunted back by about 20 years. It starts off with this fucking guy:
Ha! Sheriff Roach, right?!?!? He's in the desert, because weed grows best when there's as little water around as possible. Also, chicks!
Kitty and Galore! Get it? When you put their names together, it's like "Pussy Galore" from the James Bond movies, except "Ms. Pussy" would be crass, so now it's "Kitty Galore" and the reference doesn't make a goddamn lick of sense anymore. Four-twenty stay high all day y'all! Speaking of that, there's also a stuffed horse named Blazer, because you're too stoned to give a shit.
The rest of the commercial is an alternating nightmare of this guy ...
... screeching at the camera with all of the eardrum-splitting shrillness that the look on his face in that picture implies, and this woman ...
... reading her lines so awkwardly, I can only hope she's just doing a spot-on impression of a terrible actress in a marijuana commercial.
This is where we are already with marijuana advertising, and the shit isn't even completely legal yet. Just imagine what it's going to be like when the real corporations set their advertising teams to work.
That's not the only thing about marijuana that corporations will ruin, either ...
#1. The Profits Will Only Work Their Way Up
I used to joke that I didn't want drugs to be legalized because I wanted to always have the option to sell them myself if my financial situation ever called for it. I don't really mean that, according to the legal department, but it does speak to my biggest concern when it comes to legalizing marijuana. At its heart, medical marijuana is a farming business. Legalization at the federal level means there's no longer anything stopping corporate America from entering that market and running all of the little people right out of business.
If for some reason you think this would never happen with marijuana, I'd ask you to consider the fact that it already has to some degree. Northern California has been a mecca of marijuana farms since well before California Proposition 215 took effect.
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The only farmer Willie Nelson really cares about.
In the days before storefront dispensaries, a lot of that delicious weed made its way to San Francisco, where the last remnants of the hippie movement would sell it at premium prices in places like Golden Gate Park.
Legalization brought an influx of new farms to the area. Increased competition meant lower prices, which is good times for smokers, but bad times for those idealistic dealers who never thought their utopian weed communes would be competing with "medical clinics" for customers. Suddenly, the pot trade that kept dusty street kids in all the hacky sacks and acoustic guitars they could ever need was a lot less profitable. You wouldn't expect it to be the case, but as this article points out, marijuana legalization will likely be the final nail in the patchouli-scented coffin of the movement that started way back in 1967 during the Summer of Love.
Of course, plenty of pot advocates would point to this as one of the benefits of marijuana reform. Putting illegal drug dealers out of business is a major part of the point. The problem is, it wasn't questions of legality that put those hippie drug pushers under. It was nothing more than business, a larger competitor taking out a smaller competitor. When weed is legal at the federal level and Big Tobacco and other assorted corporate evildoers are free to cash in, those same dispensaries that took out the flower children will be cannibalized themselves by whatever entity emerges as the "Walmart of Weed."
This is what Target will look like in 10 years.
Sure, there will still be a smattering of independent dealers and growers and such, just like there are currently people who still show up at the local farmer's market to sell their homegrown foodstuffs. Keeping profits up when a big box department store comes to town is a challenge that proves to be insurmountable for most mom-and-pop operations, though. If you're currently running one that involves medical marijuana, federal-level legalization is the last thing you should be hoping for. The legal gray area you're currently operating in is probably the only thing keeping The Man from crushing you.