‘Big Marijuana’ is like ‘Big Tobacco’

The National Conference on Addiction Disorders (August 25, 2014) was a natural venue for a forthright discussion about the impact of marijuana use in the two states that have legalized it (Colorado and Washington).   Legalization, which was the result of a sophisticated strategy by companies with deep pockets, has taken the form of normalization of marijuana use.  ‘Big Marijuana’ is like ‘Big Tobacco.’  They’re using the same strategies and tools that have been seen in activities by Big Tobacco.  “The strategy,” says Andrea Grubb Barthwell, Medical Director, Encounter Medical Group, Director of the Two Dreams Facilities, Chicago, “is to normalize marijuana use and make it look more safe.”

“This is a big, mature industry,” she adds.  “Terms in the campaigns have been strategically selected to normalize marijuana and they play with our minds by looking at the inconsistencies with alcohol and tobacco.  Drug use is not recreational–it’s not like snowboarding or soccer.”

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