Cable Technology Feature Article
Comcast Makes History with Medical Marijuana TV Ad
By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor
In the wake of the decriminalization of marijuana in several U.S. states, a history-making advertising campaign has cropped up, so to speak, on several major TV networks. MarijuanaDoctors.com has begun airing a television commercial on the Comcast (News - Alert) local Spotlight system in New Jersey—the first time a medical marijuana service has been showcased on the airwaves.
Comcast will run the sure-to-be controversial spot on A&E, AMC, Bravo, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, ESPN (News - Alert), Food Network, FOX, FX, HGTV, History and several others. Let’s just say that it’s a far cry from the “Reefer Madness” days.
"Securing the airtime for our commercial on a major network was extremely difficult and at the same time, extremely satisfying," said Jason Draizin, founder and CEO of MarijuanaDoctors.com “We recognize that the sale and use of marijuana is still considered very controversial and we are pleased that Comcast understands that there are legitimate businesses providing legitimate and legal services to people who have legitimate needs.”
As of February 2014, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana for specific terminal and debilitating conditions (including in New Jersey, where the spot will run). However, in 30 states, the substance is still considered an illegal drug. Needless to say, the move by a major cable operator to run ads for what many see as a socially pernicious substance is likely to raise eyebrows and spark discussion nationwide.
The commercial draws a parallel between a “shady” street dealer attempting to push “unsafe” sushi to unsuspecting buyers, and medical marijuana patients being forced to obtain their medication in a similar fashion. MarijuanaDoctors.com said that it’s drawing the parallel in an attempt to showcase the hurdles that consulting physicians face in order to obtain medical marijuana for terminal and debilitating medical conditions. These are situations where the doctor may recommend that the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risks of in order to improve a patients overall health.
"We felt the viewing public would agree that in the states providing safe access, continuing to obtain medicine illegally is as absurd as purchasing raw fish from a drug dealer,” said Draizin.
According to the company's website, MarijuanaDoctors.com seeks to help patients with documented medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain or any other ailment that is approved by their state of residence as a qualifying medical condition for cannabis, locate and book appointments with licensed doctors who are willing to recommend marijuana as a treatment for their ailments.
The company was quick to add that it does not promote the casual or recreational use of marijuana or any other prescription medication.
“The goal of MarijuanaDoctors.com is to bridge that gap between the patients who have a need for marijuana recommendations, and the doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations,” Draizin said. “Our company bridges that gap by allowing a patient to visit our Website to fill out a form to find a certified physician near their location. To date, we've helped thousands of patients connect with proven and trusted doctors who can recommend medical marijuana.”
Edited by Cassandra Tucker