Australia wants to keep kids from smoking cannabis. So they rolled out a national stoner television ad campaign featuring, of all things, sloths. The tagline is “You’re Worse on Weed.”
It has become an instant hit with young people and is having the opposite of the intended approach…pretty much like every other anti-marijuana PSA. View the videos here.
Silly beyond compare, the ads were created with government funding by the Australian state of New South Wales which is home to the country’s largest city, Sydney.
Steve Bloom at Celebstoner.com notes that New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is even joking about the ads on Twitter saying, “I’ve been assured no sloths were harmed during the making of those #StonerSloth ads.”
But there is something a bit more disturbing to ads like these. Apparently it is OK to discriminate against cannabis consumers.
This type of effort to marginalize and dehumanize those who chose something safer than alcohol is yet another reason for full legalization.
There is no stereotypical stoner.
Famous cannabis consumers are some of the most successful and hardworking human beings on the planet.
They come in all shapes and sizes.
Carl Sagan an MIT professor and his wife, author Ann Druyan brought us two generations of understanding the science of the universe with Cosmos.
Music legend Willie Nelson is 82 years old and still touring most of the year. Modern musical phenom Mylie Cyrus gleefully smokes on stage then puts on a high-energy show.
We can go on and on.
But more important; cannabis consumers are our friends, family members and essential parts of our communities.
In the United States deaths from alcohol and opiates have reached record levels. Related happy-go-lucky advertising from the purveyors of these deadly substances pervades all forms of media.
Moreover in 2009 the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania found that government-funded anti-marijuana ads (remember the old eggs-in-the-frying-pan commercials?) actually made teens more likely to want to try a joint.
Cannabis consumers deserve respect, as people. Young people deserve honesty. Lies and goofy imagery will always be the wrong approach.
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