If you've been keeping track of cannabis news this week, you've probably seen doom-and-gloom headlines about Disney World banning cannabis from its Florida theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. But Mickey Mouse's stance on marijuana is actually good news for the industry - a testament to how marijuana is becoming more mainstream in America.
Last week, Disney World updated their park rules to include marijuana on the list of prohibited items. A Disney spokesperson later told NBC-affiliate WESH News 2 that the company updated their guidelines in response to the gains made by the marijuana legalization movement in America - including Florida, where voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana last November.
"Although some states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal under federal law," the spokesperson said. "We are revising our rules to clarify that marijuana is not permitted on our property."
So marijuana's exile from the Magic Kingdom isn't new at all. Marijuana has always been banned from Disney World, but this is the first time that the company has specifically mentioned it in their guidelines. If you go to the list of prohibited substances, you'll find marijuana included in subsection 'b.'
So the only real difference in company policy is that Disney World now distinguishes marijuana from illegal drugs. And that's a positive thing for the cannabis industry as well as consumers, whose recreational or medicinal substance of choice is no longer lumped in with a broad category of drugs that includes heroin, cocaine and meth. A grouping that implicitly stigmatizes cannabis users as delinquents. But thanks to Mickey Mouse, marijuana is becoming as mainstream as alcohol, skateboards, selfie sticks, oversized strollers and other items specifically banned from the parks.
If that's not ironic enough for you, consider this: Disney World's cannabis policy is now more progressive than the federal government's stance. While the feds still define cannabis as a drug that is as dangerous and addictive as heroin, Mickey Mouse recognizes the difference between marijuana and hard drugs. In other words, Disney just made the Trump administration look goofy.