Recently, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in association with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, has bombarded the airwaves with some disturbing commercials aimed at reducing teen marijuana abuse.
These commercials, described on their Web site, mediacampaign.org, as “hard-hitting ads” that “speak in a vernacular that teens understand” and are considered by these institutions to be “a response to research showing that American youth want to be provided with the facts about marijuana”.
The four ads they are describing show various teen-agers under the influence of the devil weed hitting small children on bicycles, being date raped and accidentally shooting one another with a gun they didn’t realize was loaded because they were stoned – get it, bro?
These horrific events are juxtaposed against such phrases as were used in the film “Night of the Teen-age Vernacular”: “Your sister’s hot, dude” and, my personal favorite, “Man, this is good weed.”
Of course, these commercials are reminiscent of “Reefer Madness,” a propaganda film from the 1950s that depicts the sometimes murderous effects of cannabis sativa on unsuspecting teen-agers. Tellingly, this is now available in most video stores under the category of Comedy.
Are these commercials serious studies of the teen-age mind or are they exaggerated and insulting propagandist messages dreamt up by L-7 squares? Are they just trying to put the good weed down? I don’t know, man – this is just too weird. But as a young person who strives to be everybody’s target audience – from Smirnoff Ice to Centrum Silver – I thought I’d try to help my main men out there at the ONDCP and the PDFA by doing a little advertising brainstorm on behalf of the innocent American teenager, who could fall victim to a marijuana-inflicted gunshot at any moment. So I put down my bong for just a second, put a Judas Priest record on the turntable, and came up with a few ideas for the ONDCP’s next media blitz:
1. The Pizza
Scene: A dimly lit urban area. A man is walking down the street with a pizza box. Two teen-agers with very red and puffy eyes are following him. The two teens, unable to control their marijuana-induced appetite, beat the man down for his pizza. After they are done eating the “pizza” at their pad, they realize that there are little blue booties and a pacifier on the table, but no pizza box. What have they done?
Caption: Marijuana. What are you hungry for?
2. The Acceptance
Scene: A suburban street, Anywhere, USA. A teen-ager named Monterey Jack collects the contents of a mailbox and retreats into the house. Eminem is playing loudly. Another teen-ager named Short Mike is sitting on the couch with a bong.
Short Mike: Yo, M-Jaq, Eminem is dope. Why don’t you roll us another blunt and we’ll borrow your mom’s SUV and go run over small children?
Monterey Jack: Word.
Monterey Jack unknowingly rolls up a joint in his acceptance letter to Harvard and lights it up.
Caption: Marijuana. Is your future smoking?
3. The Shot
Scene: A dimly lit room with a disfigured teen-ager sitting on a stool.
Confession: Me and Marijuana used to be hella tight. We used to go to the park after school and light it up. Then it was between classes. Next thing I knew, I wasn’t even in school anymore and we was smoking it up everyday, from dawn till dusk. Then one day, Marijuana shot me in the face. What’s up with that, Marijuana? That was totally whack.
Caption: What is up with that, Marijuana?
4. The Houseguest
Scene: Another dimly lit room. A teen-age girl is sitting on a stool.
Confession: One day my brother brought home a bag of weed. I wasn’t sure about it, but my brother said it was harmless. Then when I was home alone, the Marijuana came out of my brother’s room and made some very inappropriate comments to me. The Marijuana made me feel very uncomfortable in my own home. It was very bad weed: It had a negative attitude and a foul odor and it was sticky. My brother won’t throw it out and the Marijuana took all of his rent money.
Caption: Is marijuana sleeping on your couch?
Note to readers: As I’m sure you’re all aware, the dread Marijuana is still out there, so please lock your doors and beware of foul odors.