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'First' Weed TV Ad On Major Networks Has False Start

Several news outlets reported on the comedic MarijuanaDoctors.com commercial, which was supposed to appear on major networks this week but didn't.
Posted at 12:33 AM, Mar 09, 2014

You wouldn't buy your sushi from a creepy guy wearing a tank top and hanging out in an alley. So why would you buy your weed from that same sketchy fella? 

That's the message in this hilarious one-minute ad for MarijuanaDoctors.com, a service linking patients with real doctors who prescribe medical marijuana. 

"I got the finest Sashimi this area has seen in years." 

USA Today reports Comcast agreed to run the ad on local cable systems in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Chicago. A Comcast representative said the ad would run between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and would not appear on networks for children. 

The ad was touted as the very first marijuana ad to make it on major networks and The Verge reported on Tuesday "The commercial appeared on Fox, CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, AMC, and Discovery, among a number of other networks throughout New Jersey and Chicago." Just one problem — the ad never showed up on those networks. (Via ABCNew York Daily News)

Yeah, the "first" marijuana ad to hit airwaves didn't hit airwaves. 

CNN's Brian Stelter reports MarijuanaDoctors.com sent out a press release calling their ad the "first marijuana television commercial" — even though other pot commercials have aired. But Comcast never gave the ad final approval, thus the spot never got played.

Stelter writes, "​It seems that MarijuanaDoctors.com jumped the gun, publishing its press release before it was sure the ad was going to air."

According to the New York Business Journal, Jason Draizin — CEO for the MedicalDoctors.com — didn't find out about the ads not running until Friday. Draizin told the paper his company paid Comcast $21,500 for the commercials. 

But the MarijuanaDoctors ad has gotten a good amount of publicity. The video has more than half a million views on YouTube and a lot of news outlets gave it some love earlier in the week presumably because of that press release. (Via YouTube / MarijuanaDoctors.com)

Plus, a writer for Bloomberg says marijuana is making ads funny again. He cites another viral hit that made its round online, racking up nearly 2 million views, and also greeted fans at last year's NASCAR Brickyard 400 races. 

"Are you an adult who enjoys a good beer? There's a new product you might want to know about. ... Marijuana." (Via Marijuana Policy Project)

That's a far cry from this commercial that aired in Sacramento in 2010. 

"I get muscle spasms."

"I was hit by a drunk driver."

"I'm 11 years an AIDS survivor." 

"I would recommend CannaCare to anybody." 

"It changed my life a lot." (Via CannaCare)

A writer for The Wire said weed ads have come a long way in recent years, adding the tonal shift of ads from the relatively serious CannaCare commercial to sketchy Sushi guy can be seen as a reflection of the growing positive public opinion of legal marijuana. 

Draizin told CNN his company's campaign has ended in New Jersey, but said they achieved their objective.