Legal Marijuana PSAs Warn Against Stoned Driving [Video]

Legal Marijuana PSAs Warn Against Stoned Driving [Video]

This tongue-in-cheek Colorado campaign draws upon some well-baked experience.

Rachel Pincus
  • 12 march 2014

Now that recreational marijuana use has been legalized in the state of Colorado, an embargo on officially approved education about the drug seems to have been lifted; it’s possible now for authorities to accept the fact that people smoke marijuana in their own homes and guide them to make safer choices. In Colorado, this has meant launching a PSA campaign aimed at men between the ages of 21 and 34, who tend to get the highest number of DUIs.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, marijuana use is unsurprisingly widespread in the state, and 21% of respondents who said they used marijuana in the past year had driven a motor vehicle after consuming marijuana within the past month. Those who drove within two hours of using marijuana did so 17 times a month, on average. Though marijuana is nowhere near as dangerous as alcohol while driving, as it often negates risk-taking tendencies, high doses can still wreak havoc, making it difficult for drivers to stay in a lane or react to lights. Taking marijuana and any amount of alcohol together is also more dangerous than either alone. It was thus important to create a campaign that emphasizes that despite Colorado’s live-and-let-live attitude towards consumption, it is still possible for marijuana users’ actions to harm others.

Fortunately, the ads have a lighthearted touch and clearly stem from experience around stoners. It focuses on how silly people sometimes look when they’re stoned and gently suggests that such behavior isn’t conducive to safe driving. Clips include a basketball player spacing out while dribbling a ball, a couple failing hilariously at installing a TV, and a man who’s forgotten to buy a propane tank for his grill. The idea of driving while stoned, however, isn’t played for laughs, and is instead left to the viewer’s imagination: ‘yes, you can do X while high, just don’t try to remedy the situation by driving somewhere.’

According to AdAge, “four Denver-based agencies handled the campaign, with Amelie Company overseeing creative, Explore Communications managing the media buy, Communications Infrastructure Group leading PR efforts and Hispanidad working on ethnic marketing aimed at the state’s Latino population.” Check out one of the spots below.


Drive High, Get a DUI
Sources: Buzzfeed, CDOT Press Release, Slate, AdAge


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