Author encounters medical marijuana and is blown away…by its brand potential.
February 18, 2011
Warning: The following story is about marijuana. The author does not use marijuana or condone the use of marijuana. Not anymore, anyway. Names and certain details have been left out of the story for obvious reasons…
Figures I would be in California when I got my first glimpse of legalized –or medical marijuana. It was in a black plastic canister reminiscent of the ones that film used to come in. Back in the day, I can recall using real film canisters for the same purpose. It was called stash and we kept it hidden. Like you, I’d heard about medical marijuana, read about it, even fantasized about it, but I’d never actually seen it. Until yesterday.
One was labeled “Bubble Gum” and the other “Banana.” Apparently, they give it fun names based on pedigree, shape and flavor. “They” I guess are the purveyors. Dope dispensaries sell numerous kinds of marijuana, like an ice-cream shop. Like I said, I don’t smoke pot or use any mind-altering drugs anymore but I certainly remember them. And I also remember how illicit it all was. The creepy dealer. Those shady head shops. An endless fear of getting caught.
Not an issue. All you need is a prescription, which I’m told are as easy to get as those for headache medicine or antibiotics. In the many states where it’s legal, the stores are abundant and surprisingly mainstream. People don’t park in the back to avoid detection. You can waltz right in and pick up an ounce of “Bubble Gum” or “Train Wreck.”
So, I open the canister and have a peak. Un-effing-believable. This ain’t your cousin’s ditch weed. The “dose” I saw consisted of only deep green and purple hued flower tops, with reddish tendrils swirling throughout. Nary a seed, these were dense, aromatic buds, the kinds they used to photograph for High Times magazine. And that smell! Musky and sweet, like perfume, pineapples and sex.
Totally lethal. Totally legal. I’m not going to editorialize. Frankly, I don’t know where I stand on the matter of legalized dope. But the copywriter in me started thinking about the marketing possibilities. Everything about marijuana –what it does, how it looks, where it comes from- screams killer advertising. As a teen, I remember ogling the centerfold in High Times as if it were a centerfold in Playboy. We all did. Now one could put a logo at the bottom and suddenly it’s a print ad!
On a final and hilarious note, these prescription canisters of weed had warning labels, just like “real” drugs: “May cause dizziness. Use of alcohol may intensify effects.” You think?