The Reefer Madness Musical Returns—With Ads a High Priority

Cannabis Media Council stages campaign

Reefer Madness: The Musical has been revived after 25 years, and the Cannabis Media Council is focusing on a digital campaign in partnership with Hearst Newspapers to generate support. 

"More Than a Leaf—It's a Legacy" currently runs through July 28—timed to closing night for the play in Los Angeles. The work includes digital banner ads and run across Hearst properties. 

The musical spoofs the infamous 1936 cult film and enjoys an interesting history. It premiered in 1999, and playfully pokes fun at the absurdity of anti-cannabis propaganda. The tuneful version of Reefer Madness moved to the silver screen in 2005, starring Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell and Alan Cumming.

"The main goal of the campaign is to work in concert with the executive team of Reefer Madness to drive awareness both for the release of the revival and for the spirit of the content. Our society is consumed with reefer madness and the musical itself amplifies and satirizes the constant prohibitions that we experience as an industry and in our case, in activating on mainstream media," says Joyce Cenali, co-founder of the CMC. 

The cannabis think tank hopes that the musical will help continue to normalize cannabis—and potentially introduce the plant to a new audience. 

Future plans may include building an ongoing campaign. 

"We hope the Reefer Madness alliance will have a ripple effect and help reinforce efforts for nationwide reform in media and beyond," says Cenali. "Cannabis can be evangelized and satirized throughout editorials, film, television, radio, and in this case—Hollywood's Broadway. And yet, cannabis businesses operating in legal states with dispensaries and product makers positioned in these communities, are most often restricted from advertising through those exact same channels."

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