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Video: 1970s Anti-Marijuana Ad

How the 70s had it all wrong.

by Audrey Livingston

by Audrey Livingston

Cannabis was consumed recreationally in the 1970s, meant to be enjoyed among friends. Marijuana enhanced creativity, allowing America’s youth to look at the world from a different perspective. 

The 1970s had an absence of social acceptance for this.

Richard Nixon, a strong advocate for ridding America of all “harmful” drugs, including marijuana, created campaigns to get young people off pot, the most effective of which seemed to be commercials.

Presumed negative effects of marijuana are described in the ad, beginning with euphoria and ending with complete insanity. Of these insanities, the ad describes binge eating, joy rides and the sudden urge to wear sunglasses at night.

Though the ad has a comedic tone, the intended message is quite serious. The narrator tells viewers smoking marijuana will not land you a decent job in today’s society. This was at the very heart of Nixon’s war against drugs campaign. The ad explicitly informs young people, if you participate in taking drugs, you are not only ruining your reputation, you are also not contributing to society by maintaining a well paying job and with that, would not be helping the economic stability of America.

The 1970s had a certain opinion about what constitutes being an honorable citizen of their community. Due to advances in research and forward thinking, we look at marijuana in a different light, focusing specifically on its benefits of changing peoples lives for the better. 


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Audrey Livingston

A Texas native living in Boulder, Audrey Livingston enjoys writing about the essence of human nature, the developing medicinal cannabis industry and research-focused studies that,to anyone else, would seem extremely boring.



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