Florida's Ads Against Driving While High Are Drawing Tons of Criticism

The state of Florida recently launched a series of ads in an effort to educate people about the dangers of driving while high. But many people are saying the ads are both ineffectual as well as misleading.

Many people are accusing the Florida campaign, called "Drive Baked, Get Busted," for being nothing more than traditional marijuana scare tactics. For instance, one ad says "Don't drive on grass," with the picture of a lawn with a tire track streak in it. Many are accusing the ads of simply attempting to scare people about marijuana rather than actually educating people about the dangers of driving while high.

"It’s high drama, low information, designed to scare the s--- out of people," said Florida for Care, the organization behind Florida's original medical marijuana ballot initiative, executive director Ben Pollara.

Others criticize the ad for not explaining anything about Florida's medical marijuana program. Even one of the sponsors of the bill that created the campaign says he doesn't like it.

"I would agree with (critics’) objection that the campaign does not educate.This does nothing to articulate how to be compliant with the medical marijuana program in Florida," said Florida House Majority Leader Republican Ray Rodrigues.

Another criticism is the ads are just lame. The target audience for the campaign is 18 to 34 year olds, but most of them just look at the ads and mock it.

"Most people think it’s a joke," said University of South Florida neurologist Juan Sanchez-Ramos. "They’re not educated (by it)."

The other issue is whether the campaign is even needed in the first place. The state of Florida does not have any actual data related to how many traffic fatalities are caused by marijuana. The state does say that 205 traffic deaths were caused by people impaired by drugs, but they do not keep track of what drugs those people are on. The state says they are beginning to figure out how to collect that data as it relates to marijuana.

So once again anti-marijuana groups make anti-marijuana ads that only appeal to people who are already anti-marijuana.

(h/t Tampa Bay Times)


Glaucoma often makes the list of acceptable conditions for treatment by medical marijuana in states where the substance has been legalized, but the cannabis compound CBD could actually worsen the condition. A recent study from Indiana University has found that consuming CBD—a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis often used for medicinal purposes— actually increases eye pressure. "This study raises important questions about the relationship between the primary ingredients in cannabis and their effect on the eye," lead researcher Alex Straiker told Science Alert.