Could Netflix Be Leading the Pot Revolution?
The pot push continues to move mainstream.
Today, a new show called Disjointed will premiere on Netflix. It’s about a flaky LA pot-dispensary owner (played by Kathy Bates) and the hijinks she and her employees run into selling legal weed in California.
The early reviews aren’t exactly raving. “[Disjointed] May Be Funny if You’re High,” reads one headline. Ouch.
But this isn’t a critical assessment of some new Netflix show — there’s something much bigger happening here.
“Marijuana still isn’t legal for recreational use in most states, but pot is mainstream enough for the average viewer to know how mundane and widespread cannabis use is,” reads another review of the show. Bingo.
A mainstream sitcom is depicting pot as just another routine business.
Like Cheers but with weed instead of booze.
Contrast that with how pot was depicted in popular culture as recently as 2005 with the hit Showtime series Weeds. The show’s protagonist is also a middle-class woman turned pot dealer. Except she’s entangled in the criminal underworld, is complicit in the murders of a DEA agent and a rival dealer, dabbles in arms trading…
The list goes on.
That’s a pretty stark contrast.
Why am I making such a big deal about a couple television shows? Two reasons. First, television reflects our social norms. And second, it influences them.
Remember the old I Love Lucy episodes where Lucy and Ricky slept in separate twin beds?
Netflix is effectively pushing the twin mattresses together for the pot industry. When marijuana is seen as mundane at the same time legal pot states are announcing tax revenue windfalls from recreational weed, it becomes pretty hard for politicians to keep justifying an anti-weed stance.
It’s just not politically expedient anymore.
A recent analysis from GreenWave Advisors, a pot research firm, estimates that we’ll have 17 fully legal pot markets by 2018 — that’s eight more states than currently allow for recreational weed. Normalization of pot is what’s going to gently push fence-sitting voters to vote in favor of beefing up their education budgets with marijuana tax dollars.
So Disjointed might be a hilarious hit sitcom from the creator of Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly. Or it might stink. We’ll find out when it becomes available to subscribers.
But the fact that Netflix sank a multimillion-dollar production budget into their new pot sitcom shows that they, in all their big-data number-crunching wisdom, think America is ready for it.
And as pot takes the “mainstream” and “main street” by storm. The cash windfalls will almost certainly follow.
For Tomorrow’s Trends Today,