For years, you might’ve heard whispers about how tobacco companies were preparing to market their weed cigarettes when marijuana eventually became legal in the U.S. Of course, the people who were doing the whispering were invariably stoned themselves and perhaps not the most reliable. But now that legalization and decriminalization are getting more common, the marketing of marijuana is slowly becoming a reality. Also evolving: the way that PSAs address the so-called gateway drug.
It used to be that PSAs admonishing kids about pot erred on the side of “Don’t do it ever!” However, the tone of these ads seems to be shifting to acknowledge marijuana’s fluctuation from illegal thing to alcohol-like, moderation-contingent acceptability, now that places like Colorado allow recreational use of the stuff. A new series of PSAs from the Colorado Department of Transportation launch the group’s “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign stresses responsibility over abstinence, and does so with a dash of humor.
The ads show a series of dudes (always dudes) proving that they may in fact not be their best at doing stuff while high, and therefore they should probably not drive. Doing so, it seems may lead to broken TVs, basketball embarrassment, and Sideshow Bob hair.
According to a press release, the threat posed by driving high is very real and no joke. “In 2012, there were 630 drivers involved in 472 motor vehicle fatalities on Colorado roadways,” the statement reads. “Of the 630 drivers involved, 286 were tested for drugs. Nearly 27% of drivers tested had a positive drug test, with 12% testing positive for cannabis.”
Those stats and these ads represent a sharp rebuke to that guy in college who was always touting the paucity of marijuana-related deaths in comparison to alcohol. Watch the ads in the slides above.