TV commercials for medical marijuana begin to air in NJ

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It was bound to happen sooner or later.

TV commercials for medical marijuana have begun airing in the New Jersey television market, but with a humorous twist.

The commercial shows a man in an alley selling sushi from under his overcoat and asks the question,”You wouldn’t buy sushi from this guy, so why would you buy your marijuana from him?”

The ads are being placed by MarijuanaDoctors.com, a  doctor-patient online portal, to discourage medical marijuana users from purchasing the drug on the black market. The commercial airs on select cable networks between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.  New Jersey became the first state to air commercials supporting medical marijuana in the US.

Jason Draizin, CEO of MarijuanaDoctors.com, told local news outlets that the ads are meant to convey the importance of obtaining marijuana from a licensed physician. The for-profit company prescreens both patients and doctors before they can make use of the service, he said, and advises them of their legal rights in the 20 states that permit medical marijuana use.

About 30 channels including A&E, Bravo, CNBC, ESPN, Fox and the Food Network will pick up the TV spot, Draizin said, adding that it would not air on “family-oriented” networks. New Jersey began permitting medical marijuana use in 2010, and Massachusetts in 2012. Turns out the commercial was produced in 2011 but was not able to be placed until now.