Cannabis, Media, and the Neoliberal Marketplace: The Problem With Just Saying Yes to Color-Blind Legalization Narratives

Corinne Weinstein


As recreational cannabis becomes increasingly legalized in the United States, the media play a key role in shaping the public’s imagination about the recreational cannabis industry and its users. Cannabis prohibition rhetoric, which once associated racial minorities with criminality and deviance, has been supplanted by modern cannabis legalization rhetoric, which associates recreational cannabis with White individualists and the virtues of the neoliberal marketplace. Through a textual analysis of the docuseries High Profits, this article identifies how color-blind racial ideology found in the series reflects the greater rhetoric around recreational cannabis in media that prioritizes catering to White comfort and promoting color-blind idealizations of the American Dream over calling on media consumers to consider and address the lasting racialized harms of cannabis prohibition.


cannabis, marijuana, prohibition, legalization, media, color-blind ideology

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