Not long after a Colorado recreational marijuana advertisement was cancelled just before airing, more bad news for marijuana marketers has surfaced in Canada. Health Canada Minister Rona Ambrose announced the development of a task force that will actively seek out advertisers. This is a full 180 from the previous policy, which waited for complaints from locals before acting.
“This task force will ensure that those who engage in such illegal activities are stopped, and should these illegal activities continue, promptly referred to law enforcement,” said Ambrose in an official statement Saturday. She also reiterated the Conservative party’s pledge to keep storefront dispensaries illegal.
As it stands, only licensed producers may disseminate information about their products. Promotions are strictly disallowed; the “advertising” must be purely informative.
The announcement comes just before the launch of a major federal election campaign, The Globe and Mail reports, suggesting that the decision is based more on politics than complaints from those who might be affected by the crackdown.
Jodie Emery, Canadian cannabis advocate, summed up the announcement by claiming it shows “an ideological…rather than a scientifically health-based approach.”
While there are varied opinions on the effects of advertising, there’s no doubt that a more-informed populace will make better decisions. Officials at Health Canada may believe they have the population’s best interests at heart – the thought of a kindergartener begging for a pot popsicle is indeed frightening – it’s unlikely that the advertising campaigns will do anything but provide useful information about their products.
The more “normal” cannabis becomes in society, the more we will see responsible decisions being made about its use. Sensible advertisements would only serve to inspire a healthy awareness of marijuana.