Comcast Allows Marijuana Ad, Making "Mainstream" TV History

A humorous TV ad featuring a back-alley sushi dealer is getting called the first commercial promoting marijuana ever to run on "mainstream" television.

Cable mega-company Comcast signed a deal with to start airing the ad for two weeks in New Jersey on Fox, CNN, A&E, and other cable networks. It's expected to run in other markets, including Chicago, after that.

The ad for the website features a friendly black market dealer who has what you need:

"I got the finest sashimi this area has seen in years," he says, opening a trench coat to reveal a supply of raw fish. "I'll throw in some rice paper for free."

It's silly. And that's the point.

"You wouldn't buy your sushi from this guy," says a female voice-over. "So why would you buy your marijuana from him?"

"Securing the airtime for our commercial on a major network was extremely difficult and, at the same time, extremely satisfying," stated Jason Draizin, founder and CEO of Inc., in a written release. "We recognize that the sale and use of marijuana is still considered very controversial, and we are pleased that Comcast understands that there are legitimate businesses providing legitimate and legal services to people who have legitimate needs."

Comcast reportedly agreed to air the ad only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to limit viewing by kids. Naturally, the company limits its beer ads to those times, too -- no?, which helps set up people with doctors who are more likely to write a recommendation for medical marijuana then a typical physician, is part of Medical Cannabis Network, a firm that also runs, a marijuana marketing company.

The new ad has been called the first-ever "mainstream" pot ad, but marijuana -- as a product -- has been making inroads on the boob tube for while now. A majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, according to polls, so tolerance of pro-pot TV ads isn't really that surprising.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.