It’s a long time since drug education groups tried to dissuade kids from using marijuana by frying eggs or enlisting the help of the Muppet Babies. And a bit longer since they tried to tell people that smoking weed would turn them into murderers.
A group trying to school the young people of today on cannabis has a little bit of a problem, particularly in a place with legalized marijuana like Los Angeles. Not to sound like Jeff Sessions, but cannabis is almost literally on every street corner in the city. Kids see people go in and out of the shops every day and they don’t turn into brain dead violent criminals, so what exactly do you try to say to teens that might make them think twice about pot?
If you’re Los Angeles County, you don’t say anything. You rap.
That’s right, a $2 million dollar effort coordinated by the county and some public relations people has created a hip-hopera on the perils of using pot, cut up into 30 second chunks for the insta-snap generation.
They even had the bright idea to enlist teenagers to help conceptualize the videos so that it didn’t seem like some kind of 21 Jump Street old folks pretending to be hip kind of thing.
Elijah Gonzales, an 18 year-old high school student worked on the campaign, explained to the Denver Post how he helped come up with the idea. “Putting myself in their position is exactly what I did,” he said. “I imagined myself on my phone scrolling through Snapchat or Instagram and quickly swiping through things and then hearing [the rap]. And your brain’s like, ‘Whoa, what’s this?’”
You can watch one of the catchy videos here and check out more at their YouTube page.