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Marijuana in the Media Part II

Marijuana in the Media Part II

Illustration by victoria_pineapple/Getty Images

It’s been eight months since WGBH featured part of Major Bloom’s story (Here’s Why Worcester County Is Dominating The State’s Burgeoning Cannabis Industry) to its network. Cannabis has a long history of using the media for stories of propaganda, which is why you have to search and dig deep into what is truth. How can a cannabis business take control of its destiny and company narrative? Well, we have social media, and during these times of social crisis, you’d like to believe that ethics is at an all-time high in journalism.

The internet and social media have afforded us visibility into companies’ corporate responsibilities. From the executive team, down to the lowest-paid individual within the organization, we all have social circles we live within. At the other end of the spectrum, there is TV, Film, and Documentary production to convey a message or brand story.

Marijuana propaganda is no stranger to TV, Film, and Documentary production. In the mid-1930s, the movie Reefer Madness, initially produced and financed by a Chruch group, later to be re-edited by an exploitation film producer, is one of the most legendary examples of propaganda. The film wrongly dramatized the use and effects of cannabis, targeting parents as an audience to make them and their kids aware of its dangers.

Nice try! The plan to scare parents in children into running away from cannabis backfired. Reefer Madness has motivated many activists to “stay woke” and work towards cannabis legalization using the dramatic film as an example of the misinformative years and ways of thinking which put us in this profoundly criminalized present-day society.

In that same light and energy today, social media posts or news coverage which paint the right picture will fall into its destiny, withstanding the test of time. An excellent cannabis narrative is present yet still hopeful and is taking the correct action towards positive change in the regulated industry.

As black founders and license holders, we are aware of our blessings. We yearn for information, truth, and knowledge because we are students of life. My partner and I are black entrepreneurship, black academia, black cannabis, and black culture in its purest form.

In our present-day, fake news is standard, while the media whitewashes acts of terror. The press and media are not to blame alone. They break the stories within our racist society, making many cannabis stories whitewashed by nature. It is harsh to say and conceive, but the government (state and local) is partly responsible for reeducating the public on marijuana, its disparities, and its true potential.

Before social media, companies communicated to the general public primarily through advertising and press releases. Today influential companies communicate through their awareness of social issues. Cannabis regulation is perceived as a public health issue from the patients’ perspective and the avoidance of adolescent use. Within the health of the public, we all have to be aware of the psychological damage of propaganda and fake news and take steps to repair our reality.