Last week I reported the California legislature was meeting in special session, and that one of the measures moving forward included a somewhat strict prohibition on cannabis branding and labeling. As legalization moves forward and states invent new regulatory frameworks, we seem to be doing a bit of a balancing act regarding health and safety, particularly with youths.
I agree we need to minimize youth exposure to recreational substances, but I was opposed to the recent effort by many in the California legislature to enact such a strict ban on cannabis advertising. The proposed bill suggested cannabis images should not be used on merchandise such as hats and t-shirts, which young people have been known to wear.
Today, I am pleased to say that the bill proposed by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) has failed.
From the LA Times:
“Opponents of Allen’s bill, including the California Cannabis Manufacturers Assn., said such a law would be a financial burden, depriving them of legitimate profits.
“The groups argued that the advertisement of medicinal marijuana should not be restricted in the same way as adult-use marijuana. The group wrote that the bill ‘undercuts a legitimate revenue center for cannabis licensees,’ and that it impinges on free speech.
“…The Assembly Appropriations Committee, which evaluates bills that will cost a lot of money, put the measure on hold without explanation.”
In an era when free speech seems to be under attack, its nice to see some legal weight being thrown in its defense. It’s also quite interesting to see the tide turning with respect to these kinds of decisions.
Now if only we can get rid of all the unnecessary extra “child safety” packaging with the sasquatch-sized environmental footprint….