This can be (and is) true with cannabis as well. But here, the influencing is not coming from cannabis-loving musicians or actors, talking about how recreational cannabis inspires their art or simply puts them in a more positive mental space.
While such testimonials about cannabis are commonplace, they don’t influence a lot of people. Cannabis has historically been associated with “artsy” pursuits. Thus hearing pro-cannabis endorsements from such creative individuals sways few minds about cannabis.
It’s not the celebrities who like cannabis that are currently doing the most to influence public opinion toward cannabis in a more and more positive way. Rather, it’s the celebrities who need cannabis medicinally (and have been stepping forward to say so) that are shaping opinions the most.
A generation of music fans know Olivia Newton-John: a singing sensation and star of the iconic musical, Grease. Her fans also know that Newton-John has been battling cancer since first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.
Lately, her fans also know that Ms. Newton-John has been regularly using cannabis – beginning in 2018. This commenced after her cancered resurfaced and she suffered a debilitating fractured sacrum, which added to her chronic pain issues.
Here is where it gets interesting for cannabis investors. Where can fans of Olivia Newton-John read about her overwhelmingly positive experience with cannabis as a medicinal therapy? Is it High Times, or some other cannabis-centric publication?
The most recent issue of Good Housekeeping featured an article on Newton-John. The title?
Olivia Newton John Claims Cannabis Has "Helped Me Greatly" With Cancer Battle
Here is a well-known celebrity with a wholesome image and large fan base (predominately female), talking openly and effusively about her use of medicinal cannabis. And she is delivering her pro-cannabis message to the mainstream (female) audience of Good Housekeeping.
The cannabis industry can’t buy publicity like this. But more and more, the industry is getting such publicity for free.
Kyle Turley played football for eight years in the NFL as an offensive lineman, a punishing occupation. Turley left the game in bad shape physically. In a recent article for the LA Times, he talked about his health issues – and his cannabis solution.
Reduced to walking with a cane, facing bouts of depression and rage, he tried cannabis and saw rapid improvement. He eventually became involved in selling CBD supplements.
Turley was blunt about the benefits he derives from medicinal cannabis.
“Cannabis saved my life, period.”
Professional football players are also highly visible celebrities with the capacity to reach a large audience, in this case predominately male.
Full-contact professional sports are generating more serious chronic health issue than ever before, as larger/stronger athletes collide. Increasing numbers of these retired athletes are stepping forward to say they need medicinal cannabis, to (safely) improve their quality of life – especially with chronic pain-related problems.
They’re also saying that players need access to medicinal cannabis while they are playing their sports. And the volume of these voices has reached such a level that professional sports leagues are openly reviewing their policy on cannabis use.
Such publicity not only influences (potential) cannabis consumers. It puts further pressure on additional U.S. states and the federal government to bring their own cannabis laws into the 21st century – and put an end to the travesty of cannabis Prohibition.
Cannabis Prohibition is coming to and end. It’s already been put to rest in Canada, and if the current U.S. administration doesn’t legalize cannabis nationally, the next administration will be expected to do so.
Roughly 2 out of 3 Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, according to an April 2019 poll by CBS News. Overall support among American is now at 65%, up 6% over the past year. Support among Republican voters has now jumped to a clear majority: 56%.
Many of these conservative voters will be fans of celebrities like Newton-John or athletes like Kyle Turley, or both. And the rapid rise in pro-cannabis attitudes among Americans will also continue to build the industry’s consumer base.
Americans don’t just listen to their celebrities, they elect them. As more of these celebrities proclaim that they need cannabis (medicinally), more Americans will see a similar need in their own lives.