The progression of cannabis legalization has been a mainstay of media focus since the successful 2012 campaigns in Colorado and Washington.
Where once corporate media conglomerates were spreading government-influenced warnings about the dangers of marijuana and other illegal drugs (and still do in many cases), major publications are now beginning to investigate the facts and culture of the legal marijuana industry from an entertainment perspective. The shift is likely due to the fact that it has become abundantly clear that a majority of Americans support the legalization of recreational cannabis, and the benefits of sensible regulation and decriminalization have proven to be plentiful.
To capitalize on the movement’s growing popularity, CNN has announced an evening of primetime television focused on the cannabis industry. On Sunday, April 19th at 9 pm ET/PT, the station will air the third installment of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s multi-part series — Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution — which will cover important breakthroughs in medical marijuana research.
After Dr. Gupta’s report, at 10 pm ET/PT, CNN will premiere its newest original series, High Profits. This series will follow Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire — the ganjapreneurs behind Breckenridge Cannabis Club — as they build their cannabis franchise.
Another example of a network cashing in on cannabis hype is Discovery‘s 2013 series Weed Country, which documents legal clashes between medical cannabis growers and law enforcement in Northern California. This was not Discovery‘s first foray into the industry, however: Weed Wars, which premiered in 2011, was a reality television series that featured Steve Deangelo, owner and founder of Harborside Health Center, in the everyday struggle of running the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary.
While it’s great that the industry is being recognized as a legitimate entity and the stories of legal cannabis pioneers are being told, it’s important to recognize that the mainstream media is still controlled by a small group of conglomerate organizations that are ultimately driven by profit. It is our hope that pieces such as these buck the trend of inserting constant jokes and tired stereotypes into their stories, and focus instead on the undeniably positive impact that legalization has had.
Photo Credit: docmonstereyes