"Do Anything but Drive" campaign warns young adults to avoid edibles

Published Oct 16, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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Since the very beginning, concern over impaired driving has never wavered, and now that we’re adding cannabis into the mix, some agencies have chosen to target a brand-new audience. Instead of being told not to drink and drive, a statement widely publicized by both CAA and MADD, they’re changing their tune and focusing on cannabis consumers who might not fully understand the implications of driving high.

The campaign

The latest campaign, which is a short video, took an interesting angle because it didn’t necessarily claim that there are any potential dangers from smoking weed before driving. What it did instead is told the world that they shouldn’t be using edibles before getting behind the wheel, using a somewhat stereotypical stoner stereotype.

The first thing you see is a moving scene, as the camera glosses over a room and slowly past an adorable dog, which is when the narrator begins to tell a story about a boy named Jesse who took an edible. It seems that Jesse who is the next on-camera character, is zoned out on this friend’s couch after indulging in what we can only assume is a potent pot-laced snack, and he can be seen petting a blanket, as the narrator tells us that he decided to pet a friend’s dog instead of driving stoned.

Though some might find the CAA campaign to be distasteful, some experts are applauding the decision, as the last round of cannabis products in Canada is finally hitting cannabis dispensary shelves en masse, and many fear the repercussion of this longer-lasting option on road safety. This is mainly because they last longer, with effects that are often reported to be more intense than smoked cannabis.

The motivation

Aside from the obvious concerns that many Canadians have about the safety of cannabis edibles, CAA reveals a different motivation for the decision. Through consumer research, CAA revealed that we have a considerable number of young Canadians who aren’t taking risks seriously. According to their survey, 1 in every 5 Canadians who are between 18 and 24 years of age admit to driving high or riding with an impaired driver.

Now that we better understand the potential hazards of smoking before driving, which some experts say lasts only 30 minutes for the average consumer, it’s time that we turn our attention to the stronger, longer-lasting alternatives that are out there like edibles. Cannabis edibles can contain far more THC than smokable products, and this method of ingestion results in lasting effects for up to 12 hours which could have serious implications for anyone who gets behind the wheel either before or after the effects kick in.

Are these types of ads necessary?

There is some level of risk when we do almost anything in life, but is the sudden surge of fear over edibles necessary? That question, we can’t really answer because so far, the only data that we have to look at is that from car accidents where drivers around found to be impaired due to cannabis. Right now, we have yet to witness a sudden increase in impaired driving incidents or car accidents based on the availability of cannabis alone, so it is a proactive rather than a reactive approach.

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