No eggs in a frying pan: Pot messaging needs to be honest and credible, expert says

published on July 2, 2018 by Sharon Kirkey in National Post

Harm reduction messaging around legalized marijuana needs to be ‘honest, credible and specific,’ says the University of Waterloo’s David Hammond

The anti-drug ads of the ‘80s were not, as David Hammond notes, terribly honest.

In one iconic (and, many critics say, moronic) TV spot, an actor stands in a kitchen, arms crossed, and asks, “Is there anyone out there who still isn’t clear about what doing drugs does?” He cracks an egg into a sizzling cast iron frying pan (it reportedly took several dozen eggs before actor John Roselius landed one in the middle without splitting the yolk). “This is your brain on drugs,” he said.

Hammond, a professor in the school of public health at the University of Waterloo, is among those who say the egg metaphor didn’t quite go over as planned. In addition to being mercilessly parodied, “it wasn’t really successful in discouraging young people in using the way it was intended.”

But the legalization of marijuana offers a chance for more honest and credible conversations around pot. “The tricky part is that part of harm reduction will continue to be that you shouldn’t be using this product,” Hammond said.

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