Back in the runup to the landmark 2018 medical marijuana vote here in Oklahoma, the case was paved by every proponent as a medical necessity. That marijuana was an alternative medicine to the opioids that have caused havoc across the country. It made sense and the majority of Oklahomans agreed as shown by the large margin of the passing vote.

It's hard to believe it's only been a little over three years since weed became legal in Oklahoma for the use of medicinal purposes, and when you look around at the industry and economy it has created, it's easy to see the uphill battle the fans pushing recreational usage are experiencing. The end-user products are less and less medicinal in marketing and seemingly more pointed towards a population that is, more or less, licensed to ill.

Before you hop on your high-capacity keyboard to shoot the messenger here, let me just say this. As an elder millennial that sported a beard long before they were popular again, I know that judgment is a bad thing. That's not my intention for I am not judging anyone wanting to self-medicate with their sticky-icky. I'm just offering an opinion because my current contract requires me to post two blogs (are we still calling these blogs?) per day and Oklahoma's not doing anything worthy of writing about this week.

Honestly, even the morning forecasts are lingering on NewsBreak as featured local content well into the evening hours. There's nothing else going on in the state so here we are. Don't get the impression that I'm anti-this or conservative-that, I'm that middle-moderate that honestly doesn't care what you do with your own body... but from the outside looking in, there is a discrepancy in the marketing of green medical products.

Example... There are plenty of social media groups and dedicated pages out there that had a strong start in the fight for medical options in this state. Same MO in pushing the importance of a safe and natural medicine in Oklahoma leading up until the vote, and as time passed after legalization, the emphasis on medicine faded away, and what is left now consists of some pretty hilarious but hoards of identical marijuana pics that emphasize potency, psychotropic effects, and how high are you...

Hi, how are you?

The point being, the industry seems to be missing its own point.

You ever hear the saying "Nothing is original"? Time is cyclical, trends reappear, things are less "new" but rather "rediscovered" as time goes on. I think that's true. Just look at the popularity of mullets these days. There's not much that is original in this world. This is especially true in watching the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry grow. They're following the same path as other vice industries.

Example: A few years ago, the tobacco industry came under heavy fire for marketing their new flavored products. Opponents made the case that a grape-flavored blunt was produced directly to attract children to develop a crushing nicotine addiction. Congress made their case with this "Adults don't like things that taste good" approach. New laws were created, the tobacco industry struck workable deals to keep their flavored products, and time went on.

Example: Not as long ago, the vaping industry found itself also under fire from the tobacco industry that literally painted the same picture they found so misguided when cigars were the siren luring kids to smoke. They convinced Congress that the same flavors they swore weren't to attract kids to a new habit were aimed at attracting kids to a new habit. Irony and shenanigans of the highest order.

The same parallel is now being drawn to the medical marijuana industry here in Oklahoma. As dispensaries market different varieties of products named after childhood favorite cereals, candy, and classic cartoon characters, it's hard to argue otherwise.

I don't see it that way. I see that everyone that has something to sell is just looking for a catchy way to make it popular. A catchy name is the first step to creating a trend after all... but people who are either against or starting to regret voting for medical marijuana can't see that. The rift between supporters and opponents might as well be politics, there's no middle ground there.

All the same, if Pfizer released their newest opioid pill bragging about the high it'll give a person and named it something like Grape Ape, Girl Scout Cookie, or Stoopid Fruits, there would most likely be a pandemic of raised eyebrows.

Can the industry save itself from itself? It's too early to say. Just as what happened with the tobacco and vape industry legality proceedings, odds are the medical marijuana industry is still trying to find its boundaries on what is and isn't socially acceptable to a mass populace. Eventually, it will hit a wall and things will trend back towards a medical vocabulary, and I don't mean another new dispensary opening under the name Doctor Dank's Laboratory... Labora-tory, not lab-ratory... Dibs on that name by the way. You can have it but cut me in for some of that net profit.

Either way, from the outside looking in from someone that doesn't have a strong feeling one way or the other, it should be fun to watch in due time.

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