Since the end of December 2018, American media-services provider and production company, Netflix, allegedly welcomed 9 million new subscribers, with the number sitting at a combined 150 million subscribers as of January 2019. Given such a strong community base, Netflix’s support for cannabis is deemed a sign that its uses are going mainstream reports Cannabis Now.
According to the claims made, the media-services provider is now focusing on limiting the number of scenes housing tobacco smoking as a result of the findings obtained from Truth Initiative. Said findings depicted that Netflix’s scenes including cigarette smoking tripled, and this was due to the show, Stranger Things.
Speaking regarding the increase with The Hollywood Report, Netflix shared that it will be cutting back on these types of scenes just enough to preserve the nature of the show, as they “strongly support artistic expression.” That said, the media services provider argued how harmful smoking is and “when portrayed positively on screen” it can possibly have an influence on younger audiences.
Moving forward, the firm will initiate projects that will come with ratings such as “TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films.” Projects with higher ratings will see lowered smoking presence unless it impacts “creative vision of the artist” which is a fancy way of saying that the character is known for said habits.
That said, many health professionals were surprised to find out that the same treatment is not applicable to marijuana smoking. Medicine Professor at the University of California, Stanton Glantz stressed that “Rating a film for 14-year-olds that’s promoting substance abuse – it’s like the peak of risk.”
Cannabis Now argues that Netflix’s rather lax approach on cannabis may rest in the fact that teenagers’ interest in smoking has reduced over time, adding that more interest is directed towards edibles nowadays.
And, who can forget the fact that cannabis is now becoming a part of life, especially amidst its growing legalization. Interestingly, another perspective has been shared in which media-services providers are believed to promote cannabis uses as a way to generate revenue.
Glantz urges that “Netflix ought to be adopting a policy that […] is not only based on bombproof science we have on tobacco, but [also] brings common sense into the discussion for these other exposures.”