There are great ways of selling the message "Stay away from drugs, kids!" but anti-drugs public service announcements, or PSAs, really aren’t it. Ridiculous and hysterical, you can only take these seriously if you’re already high. And, if you’ve ever settled down to an evening snickering at Reefer Madness, then you’ll already know just how hysterical a piece of finely crafted drug propaganda can be. Just remember that the makers of these videos hoped, and even expected, that you’d take them all utterly seriously.
Or, to look at it another way, here are 12 absolutely truthful facts about taking drugs. Because if you do drugs…
Everyone knows that if you smoke weed, your dog will start talking to you, right? Because every drug ever makes you trip like you’re on a Fear and Loathing bender. It also leaves us with so many questions: Could he always talk? Can he perform other human tasks, like roll a blunt? And just how many millions can we make if we sold him to medical science? But let’s be honest, owning a talking dog is super cool, and if he’s only going to talk to you when you’re smoking pot, then you better just keep on toking.
Quick, what’s literally the worst person you can think of? A terrorist! Now, what’s even worse than that? You! You're a terrorist-supporting murderer. This PSA, which followed the tragedy of 9/11, looks to guilt the hell out of you by linking you to terrorist groups. Because drugs equals money equals terror. It’s the commercial’s subtlety that makes this one of the most ridiculous anti-drug PSAs – you really have to read between the lines to realize what sort of terrorist scumbag you are. When you smoked that joint that one time, you basically funded ISIS.
If you’re not a terrorist, then you know what you are? A child abuser. Every time you light up a joint, you might as well be smashing a kid’s face into a brick wall, you monster. Seriously, that’s the message they’re trying to deliver here. Actually, we’re not sure what we’re supposed to think when we see this PSA. Is the girl smoking parts of her brother to get high? Or does she use him as a convenient ashtray? These seem like impractical solutions if you want to get blazed. But then again, if you’re stoned everything seems like the best idea ever…
What even is this PSA? Have you ever seen anything more 1970s than this senseless piece of garbage? It was made by Hanna-Barbera (the same minds who created professional stoner Shaggy from Scooby-Doo), so it seems a bit rich for these guys to tell you not to smoke. The worst part about it is, no one in the history of pot-smoking has experienced a trip like this, with its acid-inspired swirls and psychedelia. Those drawings, that music—if you didn’t know this was an anti-drugs PSA, you’d swear it was the worst nightmare you’ve ever had.
Did you know that if you smoke pot for one night you’ll be high for a month? Good thing this PSA told us what other PSAs are too afraid to say. And it turns out cannabis has a particularly strong effect on angry karate students. Still, well played, because if we were that stoned, we’d probably struggle to even show up to a karate championship on time (and if we did, it’d be in our dressing gowns). If the stats in this vid were even remotely true, all those smoking sessions you ‘accidentally’ had back at college means you’ll probably still be high in about 30 years’ time.
There are some things the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just can’t say no to: kicking Shredder’s ass, going large on a pizza delivery, and drugs. If you don’t do drugs, you can be as cool as a nunchuck wielding pepperoni addict who lives in the sewers. Ironic, really, since the streets is precisely where you’ll inevitably end up once the crack habit ratchets up a notch. The worst part of this PSA isn’t the fact that the kid defeats peer pressure by calling some dope-dealing scumbag a turkey. It’s that 6' talking turtles can only be the product of a mescaline induced mind fry.
You know who this guy is? According to him, he’s a snake, dealing in weed, coke, crack, your choice (presumably so long as it’s weed, coke or crack). He seems charming enough, enticing you to steal from your parents to fund a habit you haven't even started yet. And much like the Ninja Turtles, this snake—uh, literally a snake-like human that looks like SFX master Tom Savini knocked it up on his coffee break—was clearly created by someone so completely high that all rational thought had left them. If the creators of one of the most ridiculous anti-drug PSAs ever met a drug dealer like this guy, it was only in their drug-crazed mind.
No one ever talks about the real drug threat kids face: Eggs, fried eggs. Because according to this PSA, that’s what a drug is—and your brain is like a delicious egg that’s sizzling in a frying pan. The result of this ad is that anyone who’s remotely stoned isn’t going to question their life choices; they’re going to get the sort of munchies only a cooked breakfast can solve. The narrator ends by asking if there are any questions? Yeah, we got questions. Like what were you thinking when you made this? And can we get a side order of home fries?
We’ve all been there, right? If your drug dealer isn’t an actual snake in a hoodie, then chances are he’s a sleazy magician. The kind who approaches oddly eloquent and precocious children—OK, are we sure this is an anti-drug PSA and not one for stranger danger? These bratty little kids already know about the threat of drugs, but that doesn’t stop this faceless weirdo from producing, presto, a feeling of fuzzy happiness from tiny little pills and tubes of glue. The wrong questions are being asked by the wrong people if no one stopped and said "Why is that magician getting my kid to sniff glue?"
If you’ve never seen Pee Wee’s Playhouse, then just imagine the worst LSD-infused mayhem you possibly can. Then turn that madness up to 11. What is it with PSAs using drug-inspired characters in their commercials? In this PSA, bow tie enthusiast and XXX movie fan Pee Wee Herman explains the dangers of crack. Because if you want hard hitting facts about drugs, you go to the weirdly voiced, barely human hyperactive man-child Pee Wee Herman. As any insane maniac would after all, he’s the clear face of reason in an otherwise wild and deranged world.
Remember Rachel Leigh Cook? She was the A-1 hot topic for about a month back in 1999. But before she turned to a higher calling in Hollywood, she was warning little kids about the horrors of drugs by…taking a frying pan to just about every breakable thing in her kitchen. Because that’s what your body feels like when it’s on drugs, you know. But do you know who else would think their brain is an egg, then proceed to smash their kitchen up? Yep – a druggie. Also, why is it shot like a moody Calvin Klein’s commercial? Edgy!
These are the most ridiculous anti-drugs PSAs we’ve ever seen, although we’re not sure that humor was precisely the tone that they were going for. Then again, maybe they’re just trying to make sure we laugh so hard that scoring drugs is the last thing on our minds. Just be careful; the struggle of a lifelong addiction to YouTube comedy is real, and these videos are a dangerous gateway drug.
And remember, kids, smoking just one joint will turn your brain into an egg, make you befriend a turtle, have a deep and meaningful conversation with a dog while you smash the house up with a frying pan for a month. But to be fair, we’ve had worse weekends.
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