The first nationally-televised ad for medical marijuana from MarijuanaDoctors.com hit the airways Monday.
The ad appeared on Fox, CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, AMC, and Discovery, among a number of other networks throughout New Jersey and Chicago. It will appear in Massachusetts next week, according to TheVerge.com.
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MarijuanaDoctors.com said in a statement that Comcast will continue to run the ad on A&E, AMC, FOX, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Bravo, Discover, ESPN, FX, the Food Network, HGTV and the History Channel.
The advertisement features a fake sushi street dealer trying to sell a customer sushi from his trench coat, with a voiceover saying, "You wouldn't buy your sushi from this guy. So why would you buy your marijuana from him?" and encouraging people to go to a doctor for the drug.
"Securing the airtime for our commercial on a major network was extremely difficult and at the same time, extremely satisfying," Jason Draizin, founder and CEO of MarijuanaDoctors.com, said in a statement.
"We recognize that the sale and use of marijuana is still considered very controversial and we are pleased that Comcast understands that there are legitimate businesses providing legitimate and legal services to people who have legitimate needs," Draizin added.
The Verge reported
Tuesday that Comcast is ensuring the MarijuanaDoctors.com ad only runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., preventing it from coinciding with family-oriented programs.
"It went through our legal department, and they approved it," a Comcast spokesperson told The Verge.
Facebook, Twitter and Google decline to run ads for marijuana use, even in states where it's legal.
“The risk of attempting to allow ads promoting the drug in certain states or countries where it is legal is too high (no pun intended) for us to consider at this time,” Facebook spokesman Tim Rathschmidt, told Gigaom.com via email.
He added that company policies do permit advocacy ads (ie “legalize it”), but not ones that promote the use of recreation drugs, including pot.
The medical marijuana industry is growing. New Jersey's Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program reported that it had 1,585 active patients in the state's medicinal marijuana program by the end of 2013.
"Our company bridges that gap by allowing a patient to visit our website to fill out a form to find a certified physician near their location," Draizin said in a news release.
"To date, we've helped thousands of patients connect with proven and trusted doctors who can recommend medical marijuana."
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