There’s a new law currently making its rounds through the California legislature would ban all cannabis apparel and merchandise.
I don’t know about you, but I have had tons of cannabis apparel throughout my life. I still remember this awesome shirt I got the first time I went to San Francisco which had changed the 100 Grand candy bar logo to say “420 Grand” across the front. I’ve got tons of swag like this at various cannabis events that I’ve been to. Well it looks like soon no one will be walking away with cool cannabis apparel, that is if the state of California has its way.
Distribution of clothing and other items with cannabis brands is already restricted to events 21 and over. A new bill, SB 162 would ban them altogether, according to the LA Weekly. This would not apply to nonprofits, but would apply to medical cannabis brands as well.
The reasoning for this is to prevent children from seeing cannabis advertising, similar to the way tobacco advertising was banned in the nineties. This is of course, not going to work. Keeping children too sheltered can have disastrous results, and I cite my own adolescence as proof of that. I smoked my first cigarette when I was eleven, and it was not because a cartoon camel told me that it was cool. I smoked my first cigarette for the reason that many adults do, because I was stressed out (as much as an eleven year old can be stressed out) and thought it would make me feel better. I first became aware of cannabis through the DARE program, not because of a shirt with a pot leaf on it; like I knew what a pot leaf was!
SB 162 passed unanimously in the Senate and is now waiting in an Assembly committee. Cannabusinesses are of course outraged because they would be unable to advertise and grow their businesses. Ryan Jennemann, co-founder of THC design said to the Weekly, “At a time when we are aggressively working to combat the misinformation and damage caused by the outdated Reefer Madness mentality, it would be a misguided mistake to ban cannabis small business owners from advertising and branding.”
Banning cannabis apparel sends the message that there is still something morally wrong with consuming cannabis. Is California planning on banning alcohol apparel as well? No? Go figure.