The alcohol industry loves using scantily-clad women to advertise. Liquor stores across the country have numerous posters baring hot, buxom blondes hocking the kind of swill that can’t sell on taste alone. Beer commercials, more often than not, feature attractive women doing whatever it is guys seem to love–like mud wrestling.
And that’s all fine, because booze is fun and, once you’ve had enough to drink, perhaps a bit sexy, too. So it makes sense to use the same kinds of models to advertise cannabis: it’s a fun and sexy drug. (In an essay, Carl Sagan wrote about the positive effects of marijuana on sex.)
But advertising pot in a recreational sense isn’t okay yet. The marijuana that we market now is intended for medical use. And you don’t often see half-naked models trying to sell you pain relievers or anti-anxiety pills. So why use those same models to sell weed?
William Breathes brought this up back in September, when he wrote about HempCon’s proposed “best orgasm” contest (among other similarly-themed events.) He summed the issue up well: “We already face enough problems getting the general public in this state and around the country to take medical marijuana seriously without events that clearly appeal to the lowest common denominator.”
Using bikini models to sell medicinal cannabis gives people the wrong idea. If this is a serious industry, if dispensaries truly want to help patients and not just sell weed, the “sex sells” mantra needs to be thrown out.
Look, I know we’re a bunch of lazy stoners. But we can do better than tits and ass. This is an alternative medical industry we’ve started here, not another vice industry. We should be marketing medicine with the people it helps, not with a pair of fatty (or, more likely, silicone) globes. Why not use Alzheimer’s or cancer patients in ads? How about having an asthmatic be the face of your vaporizer company?
Grab the attention of people who aren’t horny men for a change. And don’t worry, horndogs: You’ll get your chance to ogle once again, when pot shops aren’t just for people who actually need them.