The legalization of recreational marijuana use in California has set off an advertising boom on billboards across the state. The gigantic ads try to persuade us — and our offspring — that we can easily get “chill vibes,” say “goodbye stress” or “get rid of pesky hangovers.” The proposed cure-all, of course, is marijuana.
Since recreational marijuana became legal as of the first of the year, advertising for the drug has gotten out ahead of regulations that could restrict where and how teens are exposed to such promotional displays. But a new Los Angeles City ordinance scheduled to go into effect next month is aimed at protecting minors from exposure to marijuana ads.
The ordinance focuses on outdoor advertising, and it mirrors established tobacco-advertising guidelines. It will prohibit a billboard promoting marijuana within 700 feet — more than twice the length of a football field — of obvious places children might be. This includes daycare and youth centers, schools, public parks, libraries and playgrounds. It will also restrict smaller outdoor signage, limiting a cannabis retail business to one on-site sign — no portable signs or sandwich boards.