Quebec launched an awareness campaign this week targeting youth and young adults who are considering experimenting with cannabis. The campaign ads were clearly designed to be eye-catching, perhaps even unnerving, but the images put out by the official Quebec cannabis awareness campaign — and the apparent reasoning behind them — are incredibly peculiar, to say the least.
The campaign features young Canadians sporting extra body parts, hair growing out of their eyes and/or ears, and youngsters with weirdly elongated necks. At the risk of appearing out of touch, it seems that campaign managers have chosen to forgo realistic interpretations of the potential risks of underage cannabis use in favor of shock and awe strategies or, in this case, shock and … what?
Check out the ads below:
The argument is not hard to understand: since we haven’t been able to fully research this plant, the campaign posits, why risk any potentially unknown side effects?
In this age of rampant information sharing, however — and amidst this global surge of cannabis reforms — it seems unlikely that attempts at fear-mongering will curry any favors with the modern youth. If you can glean more helpful information off a thirty-second Google search, for example, than through the messaging your own government has paid potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce and promote, something is clearly wrong — and kids these days are smart enough to know that.
Several cannabis professionals tweeted about the campaign this week. Mark Spear, founder and CEO of Burnstown Farms Cannabis Company, drew comparisons to an alcohol awareness campaign run previously by the Quebecois government. The differences are extreme.
“If you do drink , drink for the right reasons. Just like your parents, you and your friends drink alcohol to have fun and enhance your time together.” ?? pic.twitter.com/EfHumBpRKI
— ᴍᴀʀᴋ sᴘᴇᴀʀ ?? (@spearster55) February 5, 2019
Cannabis was made federally legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. Quebec, however, has instated the nation’s harshest provincial cannabis regulations, including a ban on public cannabis use, and has set aside $1.3 million for cannabis enforcement in the post-legalization era.
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