California Office Of Traffic Safety Ad Criticized For Glamorizing Marijuana
UPDATE: 12:53 p.m., Jan. 9, 2018:
The California Office of Traffic Safety has pulled an ad warning about the dangers of impaired driving, after critics said it promoted marijuana use.
The ad began with a variety of testimonials from people who use the drug. It wasn't until near the end that the ad talked about the risks of driving stoned.
The Office of Traffic Safety says it shares critics’ concerns, and pledges to clarify the message in future ads.
But one of the ads is being criticized for touting the benefits of getting high.
The ad begins with a variety of testimonials about marijuana, including one that says it relieves anxiety. It’s not until near the end that the ad warns about the risks of driving stoned, with the phrase "DUI just doesn't mean booze".
Stanton Glantz, the Truth Initiative Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control at U-C San Francisco, said the ad is poorly constructed.
“There’s two things wrong with it," Glantz said. "One, is the DUI message is getting lost, and the other one is, that the dominant message of that ad, the thing that it spends most of the time on, is talking about all the wonderful virtues of marijuana.”
Rhonda Craft, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, said her department is committed to warning people about the dangers of impaired driving, and regrets the message was lost in the ad campaign.