California Office of Traffic Safety running an ad glamorizing marijuana use

January 3, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The California Office of Traffic Safety is running an ad campaign produced by Prosio Communications that makes the important point that “DUI doesn’t just mean booze.”   That’s a good idea.
 
And one of the ads, which compares marijuana to tobacco, is quite good.  People need to make the connection that smoke (including secondhand smoke) is smoke, whether it is from a tobacco cigarette or a joint.  (I know that is not the point of the ad, but it is part of the implicit message, which is a good thing.)
 
Another of the Office of Traffic Safety ads shows several mellow marijuana users extolling the virtues of getting high (just don’t drive).  The implicit message of this one is “marijuana is great stuff.” 
 
While marijuana is legal in California now, the State shouldn’t be out there promoting it.  After all, the same State of California has identified marijuana smoke as “known to cause cancer.”
 
To avoid future embarrassments like this Governor Brown should require the California Department of Public Health, which includes the California Tobacco Control Program that knows how to do proper public education on addictive and dangerous products, to approve all new marijuana “education” ads before they are released. 
 

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