When people start talking about Big Anything, it is always in reference to lobbyists, corporate greed, and screwing over the little guy. As soon as marijuana legalization became a national issue, it did not take long for people to start pondering what might happen if Philip Morris got a hold of the weed market: red and white branded cigarette packs with pre-rolled joints, full of strange additives and mass-produced, generally shit, product. The horror!
To anyone that has given up the war cry for marijuana legalization, joints being sold and distributed the same way as cigarettes would be a travesty of all the hard work that was put forth and a scary notion in general. While there are some aspects of Big Marijuana that are still disconcerting—legalization in Ohio was met with its fair share of detractors with thoughts of marijuana market monopolization—reformists have been excruciatingly careful in how they have progressed the issues, determined to get things right the first time.
How about the fact that celebrities are cashing in on their names via the marijuana industry? In response to an announcement from Rihanna about her new cannabis brand, MaRihanna, made at the High Times Cannabis Cup that wrapped up earlier this week in Jamaica, folks were understandably nonplussed.
“MaRihanna by Rihanna (ed. that will not* get old, Rihanna) is truly the first mainstream cannabis brand in the world and proud to be a pioneer,” Rihanna said. “MaRihanna is blazing a trail for the industry.”
If that is the current state of Big Marijuana, we have nothing to fear. Especially considering that Rihanna is not nearly the first to profit from her name—Bob Marley's estate, Willie Nelson, and most recently
Snoop Dogg Lion Dogg (it is Dogg now, right?) Calvin Broadus have done so already—and we are no worse for the wear.
Calling out Big Marijuana is just another scare tactic method for anti-reformists. In this New World of business and generally increased awareness, I am confident that we will succeed, even if does not quite take the first time.
*It will. Part of how clever the brand name is is that your name is already in the damn brand name. No need to be redundant here, RiRi.