'Dickhead' ads to turn kids off pot
The Age (Australia)
June 20, 2004
A bold advertising campaign that aims to wipe out marijuana's reputation as a "soft" drug will hit NSW cinemas this week.
The latest phase in the state government's cannabis awareness program was launched to screen before movies throughout the school holidays.
The advertisements, which will also be displayed in cinema bathrooms, bus shelters and on buses, highlight adverse health effects, physical dangers and social impacts of using the drug.
One includes the ad-line: "Pot. It mightn't kill you. But it could turn you into a dickhead."
NSW Special Minister of State John Della Bosca said the ads were aimed squarely at young people to show cannabis was not a "soft" or "recreational" drug.
"Cannabis is not harmless," Mr Della Bosca said in a statement.
"It can cause significant health and social problems and we need to get that message to young people in ways they can relate to and in places where they go."
A key message in the series is that cannabis affects driving ability.
"Young people need to be aware that driving when affected not only puts their own lives at risk, but the lives of those around them," he said.
Similar advertisements aimed at parents of teenagers will air on community radio stations in eight languages.
The campaign is the latest phase of a $495,000 program which Mr Della Bosca describes as "unashamedly forthright".
It follows on from the "loser" poster series launched last January and a radio series on a user called Johnny which aired last June.