| Posted on Tue, November, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
The media is an extremely powerful tool that I really can’t stress enough. Every day, we are bombarded with advertisements. We sit and watch television and go to the movies with our friends. Movies, shows, commercials, photos. We see it all, every day. Over the last few years, if you’ve been paying attention, more and more TV shows and movies have begun to transform the pot smokers from the stupid, silly stoners to the people who are “cool”, “hip”, or just downright smart. From cartoons like Futurama to horror flicks like the Cabin in the Woods, marijuana is slowly taking over the media industry one character at a time.
Take for example, the TV show Weeds. Nancy Botwin was a widow that started selling weed in order to help keep her family afloat after her husband died. Her plight seemed to really grab an audience and the show managed to get through numerous seasons before kind of faltering and becoming more about gun running, cocaine smuggling, and Nancy’s inability to control her crazy offspring. Not to mention a bummer of a last episode that was so corny, it made cotton candy look sour. But the point is, Weeds was a long running, highly rated show that people loved… And it’s center piece was cannabis.
Cartoons especially seem to focus on the use of cannabis, probably because the writers involved acknowledge the fact that most of their viewers are stoned. Cartoons like Rick and Morty, Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad, the Simpsons, and many more feature weed in at least one episode, with some cartoons making constant references to it throughout seasons. It remains a question, however, if this explosion of positive weed related humor is due to the growing public support of the plant (since TV stations want to play what we want to see so we’ll watch it) or if those 420 friendly depictions are liberalizing attitudes about cannabis legalization.
Oddly enough, the General Social Survey (GSS) found some light to shed on this question. The GSS asks about TV consumption by consumers and marijuana legalization in it’s biennial academic surveys. Over the last decade, after accounting other variables, support for cannabis legalization has increased almost 20% points among those who watch at least 4 hours of TV a day, which turns out to be 1/3 of the US population. Meanwhile, opinions among those who don’t watch as much TV seemed to stay the same.
With the results not being 100% definitive, it’s still somewhat difficult to say if TV is responsible for the growing support of cannabis. Some Americans could have changed their viewing habits because they don’t approve of prime time’s portrayal of weed or some depictions could have change to reflect who was watching the most TV. Of course, the most likely scenario is that TV normalizing cannabis use is helping to change the public’s opinion of the plant overall.