Porn and pot have been pals for decades. Now they’re going into business together. HUSTLER reveals the similarities between the two industries and introduces us to the major marijuana players in porn. Ass and grass: it’s a match made in heaven.
The pornography business owes much of its success to trained creative, marketing and business whizzes, who worked hard to erase the negative industry image imprinted on society’s brain. In the early 2000s, contract girls, ad campaigns and huge budgets became part of that process, and despite the cries from right-wing politicians and religious freaks, mainstream acceptance soon followed.
Now that porn had a foot in the door, it was off to the races. Marketing and branding became the new tools for generating sales. Vivid Entertainment pushed their heavy-chested dream girls on billboards and in mainstream movie cameos. HUSTLER Video garnered national attention with the Sarah Palin parody Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? Mary Carey ate dinner with President Bush and ran for Governor of California. And famed XXX director Gregory Dark worked on music videos for the likes of pop sensations Britney Spears and Mandy Moore.
Weed has charted a similar course in its image makeover. Since 1992, when the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club—the country’s first public marijuana dispensary—opened its doors to patients, slowly but surely the stigma surrounding cannabis has lifted to reveal a useful commodity, both for its proven health benefits as well as for the economy.
In just under 20 years we’ve seen 28 states legalize either medical or recreational marijuana use for adults. Those states passing some form of legalization have shown both a boost to the economy and a 25% decrease in opioid-related deaths. Colorado, in only its second year, saw cannabis sales in 2015 topping $996 million, producing $135 million in tax revenue, $35 million of which was set aside for school projects. Washington reaped a whopping $374 million in tax revenue in the three years since 2014, when recreational use was put into effect.
Like pornography, marijuana has been kicked through the mud for decades with smear campaigns and media uproars. It’s also been the target of Johnny Law’s wrath. Since the ’70s, public opinion of X-rated material and those who appear in it mimic that of marijuana’s unjust treatment. Both have been blamed for society’s woes, and both have gotten people like Larry Flynt and Tommy Chong tossed in the pokey for standing up for their rights. With the striking similarities between the two businesses, it’s no wonder they are now crossing paths, with numerous XXXers gravitating toward the legal marijuana industry.