Roxanne McCarty-O'kane.
Roxanne McCarty-O'kane. Che Chapman

SOAP BOX: Stoner ad is a joke

I WAS only recently introduced to "the stoner sloth".

Watching the videos the New South Wales Government commissioned to portray a negative image for people who smoke marijuana actually made me laugh.

Not the intended purpose I'm sure, but it seems I'm not alone.

The internet has exploded with criticism of the campaign, which shows teens transformed into stoner sloths that can do nothing more than make Chewbacca-inspired sounds and seem to move in super-slow motion.

One even had a tiny blue ribbon in her hair.

Then I found out said advertisements cost a tidy $500,000 and the smile quickly dropped from my face.

How is that money not better spent on other education and prevention measures?

The message sent out is "you're worse on weed" and the campaign was designed to warn teens of the dangers of regular marijuana use by portraying those who smoke it as grumbling, disconnected stoner sloths.

I guess even though the videos came across as unintentionally funny, the message is certainly reaching a large audience.

It has since generated four million views on Facebook and YouTube as well as a further 30,000 Facebook likes.

That can only open the door to conversations among youngsters or better still, at the dinner table.

Once parents wise up to the existence of the stoner sloth, it would be an easy topic to bring up in order to engage with their kids without seeming like they are launching into a lecture.

Perhaps unintended humour will trump the finger-wagging of old.


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