Proponents of marijuana legalization in Washington say that their initiative will protect kids by restricting marijuana advertising. However, if you read the text of I-502, you will soon realize that their restrictions are minimal and similar to alcohol advertising regulations. As we know, alcohol ads are pervasive and have a negative impact on youth in our communities.
I-502 does not restrict advertising in broadcast media, print media, or the Internet. Recently, alcohol marketing through digital media has exploded. Marijuana marketing would be no different.
I-502 does not ban marijuana ads that appeal to youth. Alcohol and tobacco companies continue to market their products to young people even when disavowing any efforts to do so. Despite regulations, alcohol advertisements continue to associate drinking with being sexy, popular, and fun -- portrayals that are extremely enticing to teenagers. If legalized, distributors would quickly recognize the profitability of portraying marijuana in the same manner.
Find out more at WASAVP's Marijuana Education Toolkit.