A commercial for legal weed, for MedMen, directed by Spike Jonze (Her) and voiced by Jesse Williams, looking at the long history of weed. Via Esquire:
If the legalization of weed keeps chugging along, commercials for cannabis might one day be as commonplace as the ads we get served for lite beer: a little bit silly, a little bit informational, and ultimately forgettable. Right now, the United States doesn’t have full legalization. We haven’t yet been treated to cannabis marketing on a grand scale. But we have our first taste of it.
On Sunday, MedMen, the largest cannabis company started in the U.S., premiered what it says is the first-ever TV commercial for a marijuana dispensary on its YouTube channel. It is far from silly. Directed by Oscar-winner Spike Jonze and narrated by actor and activist Jesse Williams, it briefly traces the history of cannabis in America, starting with George Washington’s hemp farm. It portrays all the weed stereotypes you can imagine—like blissed out hippies and tight-laced parents frothing about Reefer Madness—as essential stops on the road to cannabis normalization. But more importantly, it examines the racial injustices wrought by the drug war, with police officers enforcing stop and frisk, and the justice system then enforcing years-long incarceration, as issues that plague cannabis culture to this day.
That’s what the infant cannabis industry can change. Investors will look to cash in on a booming market. Wellness experts and doctors will advocate for therapeutic and medicinal use. And along the way, marijuana will be decriminalized, because no one is going to be eager to lock up those investors and wellness experts and doctors. Cannabis will be the “new normal,” the commercial argues.