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Jay-Z Launches Cannabis Brand Campaign

A new pot brand backed by Jay-Z, called Monogram, is seizing on the inconsistency of legal and illegal marijuana with a campaign that involves parking billboards along the borders of legal/illegal states. 

Jay-Z Stance On Cannabis Legalization And The Controlled Substance Act

People entering illegal states will see, “Here cannabis is illegal. Avoid bookings.” That last line refers to criminal arrests. The message, “Here Cannabis is legal. Enjoy responsibly,” will greet viewers as they enter legal states.

The campaign launch is timed with the 50th anniversary of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which the U.S. Department of Justice-run Drug Enforcement Administration defines as having a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” (LSD shares the same classification.) Pro-cannabis factions have long decried the law as discriminatory and an example of the failed war on drugs.

Jay-Z holds the title of chief brand strategist for Monogram, which was officially launched last week. The brand’s first campaign shows the hip-hop mogul taking a serious tone with its marketing approach, avoiding the kind of distasteful tropes deployed by some other pot brands.

Monogram Campaign A Week Before Many States Vote On Legalization

Jay-Z in a statement kept the focus on federal law: “For so long, cannabis culture has been marred by the effects of the Controlled Substances Act and stigmatized by political agendas. While there has been progress, as we launch Monogram, we felt it was imperative that we call out the arbitrary borders that still demarcate who can benefit from cannabis, whether that’s through business or the positive effects of its use.”

Billboards will be parked at the following borders for two weeks (legal states listed first): Oregon/Idaho, Colorado/Wyoming, Colorado/Kansas, Illinois/Wisconsin, Nevada/Idaho, Washington/Idaho, and Michigan/Wisconsin.

These seven borders were chosen because they divide states with “the most starkly opposing regulations—so the least progressive states bordering the most progressive—to illustrate best that a single state line can make a world of difference,” according to a Monogram representative.

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