With the CBS network rejecting an ad showcasing the benefits of medical marijuana, the stigma of cannabis, especially in the federal circles has been brought to light.
Acreage Holdings, a company associated with manufacture, processing, and selling of medical cannabis had produced a 60-second ad to be broadcasted during the upcoming Superbowl event. The ad showcases three people, who having suffered from varied health complications, state that their lives got better with the use of medical marijuana.
The agency of Acreage sent the concept board for the ad to CBS following which they have received an email from the network stating that for the time being it won’t be accepting any ads associated with cannabis. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have allowed for different forms of marijuana use while the federal government has stipulated it as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
A spokesperson from CBS confirmed the same to USA today saying that under the standards levied by the network, they would not accept any advertising related to medical marijuana.
George Allen, President of Acreage remarked that the company wasn’t surprised by the refusal of CBS or the NFL, stating that the event throws more light not on the network but on the state of cannabis and its perception in the country.
According to Allen, a major issue that surrounds the likes of marijuana is its varying degree of usage being stipulated in the 30 states and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, the federal government has categorized medical marijuana under Schedule I drug within the Act of Controlled Substances.
He also stated that the vagueness which with the business has to operate has been a tough challenge for the company, but believes in doing their best steering through the complex system filled with uncertainties and policy differences in both federal and state level.
Allen also said that they hadn’t decided on a 30 or 60-second ad when they are informed of rejection of the ad by CBS. It is to be noted that CBS charges around an average of $5.2 million for a 30-second ad in the upcoming game on Feb 3 happening between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots.
Harris Damashek, Acreage’s Chief marketing officer establishes that the idea of the ad was not just to be on the lines of advertisement but more on creating awareness about medical cannabis to the common public. The ad is slated to not advertise any individual product or retail stores related with the company.
A rough cut version of the 60-second-ad features three testimonials from people across the state. The ad starts with a Colorado boy who suffering from Dravet syndrome is said to have multitudes of seizures in a given day with the mother proclaiming that medical marijuana came to his aid helping him through the difficulty. This is followed by a man from Buffalo who states he had been in opioids for 15 years after having three back surgeries and that marijuana helped him to get his life back on track. Lastly, an Oakland man who had lost a part of his leg during his service in military remarks on the agonizing pain he had to suffer until the advent of medical marijuana.
The ad ends with a message ‘the time is now’ prompting viewers to call on their elected representatives in US House and Senate to call for a change. A keynote at the bottom reads that the testimonials featured in the ad come from individuals’ experience which hasn’t been reviewed by the FDA. It also reads that marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled drug which hasn’t been approved legal in some of the US states.
Lastly, Allen reinstates that living in a democratic country, the government and the elected officials at least in a theoretical sense have the responsibility to uphold a legislative action that has the overwhelming support of the people.
Though the ad is not in its final cut as such, Acreage is slated to post it online in some time as a means for people to know about medical marijuana even if it doesn’t feature on the Superbowl event. Damashek remarks that the company looks forward to a wide reach and feedback for the message.