The debate over the legalization of marijuana is a polarizing issue—even within political parties. Conservative presidential nominee, Ron Paul, has drafted legislation and promoted a platform that will end the prohibition of marijuana. Some political candidates view the legalization of this drug as a way to get votes from a largely untapped segment of people who use the substance.
Until now, this group has been noticed mainly in the political arena. However, marketers are beginning to see the potential of targeting this group and want to have a piece of the 17.4 million people who use the substance.
Friday, April 20th, “mark[ed] a high holiday for marijuana enthusiasts, who have long used ‘420’ as code for cannabis and who celebrate the date’s appearance on the calendar.” This date has typically been observed by those who use the drug, but this year film studios are also participating.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “film studios hope to capitalize on the day with pot-themed film releases, while television networks and small businesses are running promotions.” Television networks like Comedy Central and Showtime are showing programs that promote marijuana use.
While marketers believe this will help increase their film viewership, drug-abuse prevention organizations see this as a major setback for their efforts. They are fighting back by running campaigns against the “holiday.”
What does this mean for Faith Driven Consumers?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
These verses remind us that our bodies are temples of God, and as such we need to be respectful and avoid substances that would diminish the glory of God within us.
Additionally, we need to ensure that we are positive role models for teens and children susceptible to the peer pressures of substance use. As Faith Driven Consumers, we need to be reminded we have a voice. If marketers are trying to reach a segment that consists of only 17.4 million people, we have the capability of being heard also.
According to a study done by FaithDrivenConsumer.org, Faith Driven Consumers compromise 15 percent of the US population, or 46 million people, more than double the size of the segment that uses marijuana.
We need to remember our voice whether we are at the grocery store, watching TV, or at work. Faith Driven Consumers have the ability to glorify God every day in the choices they make, and in making these purposeful choices, the marketplace will listen. Soon, corporations will be tailoring their marketing efforts to the Faith Driven Consumer.