CBS Fumbles Weed PSA!

Here’s a sports riddle!

When does money stop talking at the Super Bowl?

When CBS’ is carrying the game!

That network has turned down an opportunity to air a public service announcement about the benefits of medical marijuana during the Super Bowl. Acreage Holdings produced the spot (you can find it on the bottom of the home page on that shows a young person having a seizure, a veteran describing how it benefitted him, and a former opiod addict explaining how it helped him break a 15 year habit. This was considered too racy for CBS in 2019 to air in the game. Money couldn’t even sway the network to educate the public about this important message. As Patriots Coach Bill Belichick says, DO YOUR JOB CBS!

Now lets talk about how much money CBS is going to be making on this years Patriots, Rams game. CBS is getting 5.2 Million dollars for each THIRTY second advertisement. Somewhere between that number and 10.4$ million is what the network turned down after a company called Acreage Holdings wanted to air what amounts to a public service announcement about the benefits of medical marijuana. The record for most revenue generated in a Super Bowl was two years ago at 419 million dollars. Last year generated 414 million dollars.

Checking the US Cannabis Tote Board…. the count now, is 33 states with a MMJ program, and 10 states have legalized adult use outright. An October 2018 Pew Research poll claims 62% of Americans favor legalization of the drug. Now the cannabis industry has some money of it’s own to invest in making democracy work. There is a strong lobbying effort going on in Washington DC as the industry tries to get cannabis re-scheduled, or even de-scheduled as a controlled substance. It’s federal classification is a schedule 1 drug, defined as having no medicinal value. If it moves down to schedule 2, along side opiods, cocaine, and morphine, the feds can still control it if they want too, but I know they want the states to deal with it. (Hey at least the US Government is open again! LOL)

If this simple re-classification happens at the federal level it gives the green light to the US banking industry and financial institutions to start to handle cannabis’ businesses. That little change can start the whole industry. Each state can continue to set it’s own regulations, and the Federal government can focus on staying open for business, or perhaps use the tax benefits to lower the deficit.

Acreage Holding’s most famous investor is former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who over the past few years, has flipped his prohibitionist stance on herb to embracing and advocating legalization. When injustices arise in our modern world, sometimes it can work out better than getting that kind message in front of 100 million people once during a big event like the Super Bowl. I hope this slight by CBS will backfire on them, and the media will show that video message free of charge all over the country and reach more than the 100 million people who watch the Super Bowl.

The media has been beaten up over the past few years, but they should never lose sight of their function. Media is a conduit, or vehicle for information, that educates the public about the truth, using facts and stories. So DO YOUR JOBS in commercial media! Take the money, if you need to, but educate the public about what amazing benefits this plant has and the incredible stories about how cannabis has changed many people’s lives. Every state including my own here in Massachusetts needs a public service campaign to do the very same thing that Acreage Holdings tried to do as a responsible new business entity, but is still fighting the stigma of the past before we all get used to the new normal. So how many beer companies are advertising in the Super Bowl?

Here is the call to action fine print at the end of the Acreage message that no one will see on the Super Bowl.

Please call your US Representative or US Senator to advocate for change now.

“The content of this announcement is for educational benefit only and is not intended to constitute an offer or a sale of any products or materials. The patient testimonials contained herein are based solely on the experiences of these patients. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and medical marijuana has not been approved for use in some states.”

P.S. JY Note: In an earlier blog, I explained the history of one of the patents issued to a Kannalife, a company with US Government connections. Now I find out there are quite a few companies with patents on CBD products. (CBD –Cannabinoids – the magical medicine inside the cannabis plant that helps with pain, sleep, and life balance).