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Letter: Help Make Pot Safer (for Broadcasters)

"Advertising for the purchase of LEGAL and SAFE marijuana would save lives as well as increase tax revenues"

In this letter to the editor, the author comments on broadcast attorney Gregg Skall’s recent article “Marijuana Advertising? Surely It’s OK Now? Not!Comment on this or any article. Email [email protected].

I read Gregg Skall’s article about marijuana advertising. While not a marijuana user since the early 1980s, I think broadcasting lobbyists are going about this issue all wrong.

Even if this type of advertising became legal with no repercussions, I don’t know if our company would take the business. But the marketplace of people who buy marijuana from sources other than dispensaries is huge; and fentanyl-laced marijuana has caused overdose deaths and hospitalizations.

With an estimated 3.5 million monthly marijuana users (one in eight adults) [are] not buying from safe, legal and licensed dispensaries. Just in our company’s own broadcast markets, not letting these dispensaries advertise legally and responsibly is a recipe for needless heartache. It only strengthens the cartels and the mayhem they cause in our cities and in their countries of origin.

Advertising for the purchase of LEGAL and SAFE marijuana would save lives as well as increase tax revenues.

I’ll add that, in my 50+ years in the business, I never would have thought that personal injury law firms, casinos, prescription drugs, hospitals, medical specialists, sports betting, even liquor would be among our industry’s biggest advertisers. Or that every stadium or venue would have sold out their naming rights to a corporate sponsor.

I suspect that before the end of this decade we will see and hear responsible local marijuana store advertising and the eventual consolidation of these retailers under a handful of regional and national “name brands.”

— Mike Bustell, VP Market Research, Hubbard 

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