Is the campaign to legalize pot a good public relations case?

A gentleman by the name of Rick Steves (popular for travel books) helped organize the campaign in Washington State to legalize small amounts of marijuana.  The growing understanding of pot as a medicinal resource seemed to help move its use into the mainstream and garner a new group of supporters to the cause.  Recently, increased awareness about the amount of marijuana arrests and the costs of the “war on drugs” has also caused others to climb onboard the legalization bandwagon.  Coalition building is a key public relations strategy.  The subject would be of interest, no doubt, to college students.  What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Is the campaign to legalize pot a good public relations case?

  1. Whether one should have to agree with a client’s (or employer’s) position on a matter in order to give them good counsel is an important discussion to have for students and practitioners alike. Pat Jackson alway said that “everyone deserves a voice in the court of public opinion”. If the organization’s position isn’t illegal or unethical, does it matter if one doesn’t agree? Can we do our best work if we do not agree? An interesting conundrum, I think.

  2. The “legalize pot” is a good case. I’m not sure it is good public relations. It is a good case because it exemplifies one of the tenets of our practice: advocacy. Like lawyers, public relations counselors are not going to get only popular issues. As in the law, anyone and any issue is deserving of good counsel and vigorous advocacy.

    So regardless of whether one agrees with the legalization of pot, the issue is one that deserves robust public debate, with competent counsel representing both sides.

    Having said that, I would have a hard time representing the “legalization” side, as I think pot is generally not a positive influence on our society. This is one issue that probably needs a counselor who agrees 100 percent with the client.

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