The Anti-Marijuana Advertising Campaign

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The Anti-Marijuana Advertising Campaign: Public Service Announcements or Public Disservice Announcements?

For nearly one hundred and fifty years marijuana has been illegal in the United States of America. Though marijuana naturally grew in all of our fifty states, it was outlawed due the superior strength and durability of hemp rope. This threatened to replace cotton rope, which would cost wealthy cotton owners a lot of money. To this day marijuana is still outlawed in the U.S., however rope has nothing to do with it. Once slavery and the “cotton boom” were over hemp made a little bit of a comeback in a smoking form. Then, in the early 1940’s the government began releasing anti-marijuana propaganda. In the 1960’s when marijuana became popular amongst pop-culture, a movie by the name of “Reefer Madness” was released depicting marijuana users as fiends and criminals who’s normal everyday lives fell apart, and spun out of control due to the addiction to the drug. Even in the present day organizations, as well as the government, continue to try and sway people from using the substance by portraying users as irresponsible idiots. Some examples of behaviors portrayed in the commercials are: accidental shootings, running over a little girl on a bike, molesting a passed out girl, supporting terror, and impregnating/becoming impregnated. I feel that these advertisements are ridiculously tasteless and misleading. Through personal experience, surveys, an interview, and a case study I intend to prove that marijuana users do not behave in the fashion that the anti-marijuana campaign ads would suggest, and furthermore, I expect to find that the ads so grossly misrepresent the common user, even those who do not use disagree with the negative portrayals. I also challenge you to think about the suggested situations and behaviors from the commercials, I feel that you’ll see every situation and behavior in the advertisements is much more feasible to a person under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of marijuana.

In order to test my theory I was going to need to use a few different methods of obtaining data. The first method is for me to just use past experiences from my own life. I use marijuana on a regular basis and have friends who do as well, so this is a good base for looking at how people act when using the substance.

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