As companies figure out bigger and better ways to infuse chocolates, brownies and other edibles with cannabis, health and education officials haven’t been far behind, warning people of the downsides that these tasty treats — and pot in general — may also deliver.
Drug Free Kids Canada is warning that “some sweets aren’t that sweet at all” in a TV spot called Dark Gummies that is more Home Alone than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The 30-second spot features an army of villainous gummy bears wreaking havoc on an unattended home, smashing a vase containing the dog’s ashes, putting pointy Lego pieces inside unsuspecting shoes and destroying a laptop by dropping a Mentos mint into a full soda bottle that was, for some reason, sitting on the keyboard.
“Cannabis edibles aren’t as harmless as they look,” the ad says. “Their high is unpredictable and delayed. Help your kids understand the risks.”
Anti-drug campaigns have a come a long way from the Just Say No days of the past as health officials realize that humour — or their best attempts at it, anyway — resonate more with youth than efforts that focus more on science than subtlety. It’s a fine line and one that well-meaning health agencies usually trip over.
Take the recent anti-weed campaign launched in Michigan that depicts what a teen would supposedly look like 10 years in the future following a decade of cannabis consumption. In the clip, the teenager is playing video games on the couch and eating a pizza when his future self, who is overweight and still wearing the same outfit, appears next to him in a cloud of smoke. “High again?” the apparition asks disapprovingly. “I’m you in 10 years.”
First of all, if you’re him in 10 years, why are you so surprised to find him high again? At any rate, the ad, with the tagline “Don’t let a high hold you back” was widely criticized for adding fat-shaming to its weed-shaming efforts.
The ad is still head and shoulders above a confusion-inducing campaign in Quebec that depicted young people with strands of hair growing out of their eyes and ears, comically elongated necks and displaced ears.