Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Marketing Demographics and Voting Blocs
Hello to all the drug users around the globe today from the west coast of the state
known as California, U.S.A., with a special shout out to our brothers and sisters in Iran and
Afghanistan your struggle to avoid execution has been noticed by us and the world media.
The think tank at D.U.R.A.N. has been pondering the issues facing the drug user empowerment
movement in an in depth manner and two important realizations came to mind. Perhaps these
concepts have all been discussed somewhere but these two points of leverage in society,
marketing demographics and voting blocs are too powerful not to utilize to their fullest
We are already being marketed to as a group by ad agencies directly and not just the pharmaceutical
companies but the liquor advertisers, the tobacco advertisers etc. all cater to consumer
groups of drug users. Consumers can influence or even control markets if they are
organized. The marijuana market is driven by users demands for a more potent, and therefore
healthier, product, an equation that has proven successful for producers and consumers
especially in markets where medical marijuana is legal. This principle could apply to other
drugs as well if consumers are able to effectively make cooperative demands for higher
purity substances and even safer methods of ingestion.
Marijuana users have been an effective group of drug using voters for over 40 years in the
U.S.A. One of their main achievements has been to reduce but certainly not eliminate the
stigma society attaches to cannabis ingestion. The other magnificent achievement was that
in those states where it was legal they were able to create a collective system of
distribution and many more medical marijuana patients (who would be labeled and criminalised
for being drug users in any state where it is still illegal) were able to receive the
healthiest, high quality medication available.A system that was and is completely
implemented and activated by the medical marijuana patients themselves.
Imagine if this level of organized political activity were to be realized by chronic
pain patients for example. There are plenty of good reasons for them to band together and
protest the draconian laws, false accusations of "med seeking" behavior,and pain contracts
they are subject to as a part of their treatment. If the pharmaceutical companies simply
acknowledged the huge numbers of users their opiate pain medications are being diverted to they
might change strategies and market products that are easily water soluble without binders
or fillers that need to be filtered out.
The Drug User Rights Action Network is not suggesting however, that drug user groups
should organize under the banner of any one particular drug, substance, mode of ingestion
or experience. Our power in numbers, experience, and especially enthusiasm for engaging in
promoting the cause of drug user empowerment is finite at this time and it is time to cast
as wide a net as possible for drug users who can find the time and energy to contribute.
Other groups of oppressed peoples have gone before us and we can be inspired by the successful improvements they have made to their lives and communities as a result of realizing their power.