Ad for medical marijuana
Ad for medical marijuana YouTube screenshot

While medical marijuana may been legalised in a number of American states, major advertisers continue to shy away from running ads about it.

But in a step forward to promote medical marijuana, Comcast began airing a commercial for, on Monday. According to the site, it is likely the first spot to ever run on a major television network, reports The Verge.

"Securing the airtime for our commercial on a major network was extremely difficult and at the same time, extremely satisfying," CEO Jason Draizin says in a statement.

"We recognise 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."

The commercial aired on Fox, CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, AMC, and Discovery, among a number of other networks throughout New Jersey and Chicago. It will appear in Massachusetts next week.

Comcast has limited the air-time of the ad to a 10pm to 5am time-slot. It has also excluded the ad from running alongside any family content. With the spot's late air times, it'll likely find the right audience.

Taking on a controversial subject such as this may spell trouble but Comcast emphasises that the ad promotes a legal service in the areas that it's running. "It went through our legal department, and they approved it," a Comcast spokesperson tells The Verge.

The ad shows a typical 'back-alley drug dealer' kind of a character talking to the camera (viewers), selling fine sushi offerings.

The commercial then tells viewers if they wouldn't buy sushi from a man like that, why would they buy marijuana from him when there is a doctor who can legally prescribe it.

Watch the TV commercial below: