Last week on The Daily Weekly I pounded out a few words on the strangely named Washington Coalition of Coalitions - an umbrella group for community drug and alcohol prevention coalitions, predominantly made up of federally funded Drug Free Communities programs. The Coalition of Coalitions took a stance against Initiative 502 last year, and now that the marijuana legalization initiative is the law of the land is predictably working to voice concerns over how to protect children from devil weed.
Probably not alone in the revelation, I wasn't even aware the Washington Coalition of Coalitions existed until earlier this week, when a quote from Vice President Martina Coordes appeared in a Spokesman-Review story detailing a recent Washington State Liquor Control Board marijuana forum. (Hat tip to erstwhile Seattle Weekly writer Keegan Hamilton for drawing my attention to it via Twitter.)
In the story, Coordes is quoted as saying at the forum, "I know we joke tonight, but we don't want our kids using marijuana. I worry that I'll be watching the Super Bowl commercials with Budweiser and marijuana companies competing for the funniest ones. Our kids are our future. Let's not dumb up our kids."
To many, including me, the quote likely came off as questionable. We already have beer ads. Why would weed ads be worse? Isn't this just fear mongering?
Graham-Squire attempts to clarify, saying in a perfect world the Washington Coalition of Coalitions would like to see neither form of advertising. He says ads for alcohol are already covertly geared to attract underage drinkers, and the practice has real, negative impacts when it comes to our kids. But since booze companies are massive corporations with insanely deep pockets and expansive teams of lawyers, entirely preventing the advertisement of alcohol has proven impossible.
But with the dawn of state-regulated legal marijuana in Washington, Graham-Squire says things could be different with weed. That's what the Coalition of Coalition would like to see, pressing for an all-out ban on marijuana advertisement.
"Marijuana is already seen by a lot of youth to be favorable," says Graham-Squire. "The only reason for advertising is to increase demand."
To which Commenter phrontrowalpine responded:
Sorry but you have not done informed research, "Let's not dumb up our kids", I want from being a D+ student in high school, on the path to barely graduating high school, to graduating college with a 3.6 on a 4.0 scale, being on the Deans list twice, and now I am a successful businessperson expanding my company 20% a year. I quit taking ritalin and started using Cannabis to study when I was 16. Just like any drug, it works for the right people. Everybodys body chemistry is different. What works for you doesn't necessarily work for others. Doctors and individuals should find out for themselves instead of taking the governments word for it...