Home / Press Release / Australia’s anti-marijuana Stoner Sloth campaign backfires

Australia’s anti-marijuana Stoner Sloth campaign backfires

The New South Wales government on Saturday launched an anti-cannabis ‘Stoner Sloth’ campaign aimed at deterring teenagers from smoking marijuana. The #StonerSloth campaign was mocked on social media, and was trending number one on Twitter Australia on Saturday.

Several users said that the stoned sloth in youth environments are “ridiculously funny” and “an early Christmas present.” The campaign has its own website, Facebook and Tumblr page, featuring gifs, videos and images, urging teens to stay away from marijuana. In a first video, Deliha, a human-sized sloth is struggling in the classroom, and the gif’s tagline reads: “When you realize you should have hit the books and not the bong.”

Just saw the #StonerSloth ads. Not sure where NSW Gov’s ad guys found Chewbaccas siblings, but those videos are quite something,” tweeted NSW Premier Mike Baird.

Australia’s Preventive Health Taskforce notes that one in five Australians binge-drink one in a month while marijuana users, 28 percent of females and 24 percent of males drink regularly at alarming levels. The Department of Premier and Cabinet told ABC that the campaign was aimed at teens to prevent use of cannabis, and preventing serious problems. The statement mentioned that it was designed to appeal to, and shareable among, teenagers, who are some of the most vulnerable to cannabis use.

The department said that the campaign would not run on television. However, the campaign is seen as a waste of money as there are more alcohol-related incidents such as vehicle accidents, domestic violence, and assaults including date rape. People possessing or using marijuana can get fined up to $2,200 or other penalties such as community service or a prison term up to two years.

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