There exists an emerging online cannabis media environment that is helping to normalize the image and consumption of marijuana. As far as I have seen YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular online platforms for personalities and brands to express their cannabis selves. Other tools such as Twitter, tumblr and WordPress are also used.
Having been left essentially unfettered, individuals have discovered that they can reach many hundreds-of-thousand of people each month with direct exposure to what life is like as a “stoner”.
The result, I believe, has been a dramatic shift in conscious opinion about cannabis. Not only are people who are previously unexposed being introduced to a reliable visual of the plant, but those who do already consume marijuana are being encouraged and supported to continue.
I primarily view cannabis related media on YouTube. There I find a growing number of channels that feature regular videos from medical marijuana patients in states such as California and Colorado. Here are a few examples of channels from both states:
It is amazing to see this kind of media blossom and for it to impact people so strongly. To measure that statement, all one needs to do is use the same engagement metrics that would be used for any other analysis. As well, I think choosing the toughest standards is appropriate.
Using YouTube.com as an example again, these tough metrics and benchmarks could include:
- Metric - Positive/Negative Ratings
- Benchmark - 99% positive ratings
- Metric - Total Views Within 7 Days
- Benchmark - 20% of subscribed audience
The conversation that is taking place through these platforms is nothing short of a renaissance in communication. That of course is not a new thought, but when seen through the context of immediate social change in the United States, I would say it is pretty phenomenal; at least in my lifetime.