The 2021 World Drug Report by the UN was released yesterday, and it suggests a total ban on cannabis advertising, promotion and sponsorships.
Prioritizing public health
In the report, members of the United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs write that a ban is in the interest of public health, particularly that of young people who may think cannabis is risk-free if it appears in mainstream marketing campaigns.
“Cannabis is more potent but fewer young people see it as harmful,” it reads, adding that a possible response is to “prioritise public health over private business through a comprehensive ban on advertising,” and keeping it more in line with tobacco regulations rather than alcohol.
Following Canada’s lead
It’s a situation the Canadian industry is all too familiar with. While grappling with the lack of marketing opportunities north of the border, the possibilities seemed potentially brighter in the US, where celebrities have already signed on to mega-deals and cannabis products frequently appear as product placements in music videos. (See: Seth Rogen)
But more research is required
The report also points out that while it’s been demonstrated that youth are more vulnerable to rare but very serious conditions like cannabis-induced psychosis, research on the risks and relationships between substances and mental health disorders are still in the early stages.
The report also recommends using “fact-based information to raise awareness of the potential harm from non-medical use of cannabis.” and increasing “investment in research both into the harm cannabis use poses to health and the possible medical uses of the drug.”
No word yet on when the UN is going to tackle alcohol…