NEWS
Michigan Spent $300,000 on Weed PSAs Just After Legalization Started
Wolverine State cannabis advocates are pissed that the state used taxpayer funds to seemingly discredit local legalization.
Published on January 20, 2020

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“Don’t let a high hold you back.”

It may sound like a refrain from the days of Reefer Madness, but that message is the latest public service announcement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Detroit Free Press, the anti-cannabis alert is part of a $300,000 taxpayer ad campaign aimed at discouraging young people from getting into pot.

In one ad, a young cannabis user is playing video games and eating pizza when his very own ghost of stoner future arrives, 10 years older, three sizes larger, and styled as a classic middle-aged slacker. “Are you high? You smokin’ weed,” the older stoner asks. “I’m you in 10 years. No career. No friends. No money… “Marijuana messed with our brain, we can’t focus.”

Cannabis activists like Beck said that they were not opposed to messaging that dissuaded underage use, but instead, the current ads continue and demonize legal weed users for no reason other than outdated stigmas.

“Just do it in a more thoughtful way,” he said. “When you use these broad stereotypes that go back to the age of Reefer Madness, it just doesn’t work.”

The ads, which were funded with federal tax cash, are already playing on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Amazon, Spotify and other well-traveled digital airwaves. 

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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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