Marijuana Increasingly Depicted on Television
A growing number of television shows are depicting marijuana use, The Wall Street Journal reports. Marijuana is being written into story lines of dramas and comedies, and new reality shows are being created about the fledgling legal marijuana industry.
A recent episode of ABC’s “Modern Family” featured neighbors who own a marijuana dispensary. A character on FOX’s “Bones” uses marijuana to treat side effects of cancer. On the FX crime series “Justified,” a gangster buys land in Kentucky, using money from Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana business. He plans to use the land to grow marijuana if the state legalizes it. Marijuana use is featured prominently in Comedy Central’s “Broad City.”
CNN will run an eight-part series this spring called “High Profits,” which will focus on a Colorado couple running a marijuana business in resort towns. MSNBC ran a series called “Pot Barons of Colorado,” and is considering airing a second season. CNBC has run four documentaries on marijuana. The latest was called “Marijuana Country: The Cannabis Boom.”
Seeing many TV characters smoke marijuana routinely can impact viewers, especially children, according to Steve Pasierb, President and Chief Executive of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Right now, marijuana’s hot. One of the biggest dangers of this is the normalizing force, that message that causes kids to overestimate how many people are [smoking pot] and to think they’re the only ones who aren’t,” he told the newspaper. “This is not a nanny state thing—‘the more we show this stuff the more kids are going to turn into reefer heads’—we’re just talking about the natural progression of how young people process the media.”
TV producer Gary Cohen says many networks are still concerned that marijuana-themed shows may scare off advertisers, in part because the drug is still illegal under federal law.