Put down that joint kids, if you don’t want to end up like Stoner Sloth over there.
That’s the character leading an anti-marijuana campaign in the Australian state of New South Wales, targeting teenagers with the tagline “you’re worse on weed.”
The thing is, people on the Internet think this campaign is absolutely hilarious.
The three videos feature the character of Stoner Sloth taking over people in a variety of public situations, a result of being under the influence of marijuana — dopey and reacting slowly to the people around them, who are disgusted by Stoner Sloth.
The first video shows “Delilah” in a high school exam, who’s written nothing. The next shows “Jason,” struggling to pass food around the dinner table. Finally we meet “Dave,” not able to react at a cool teenage party where everyone’s holding red cups. All the sloths are presumably super blazed.
Gauging from reactions on Stoner Sloth’s Facebook page, people aren’t particularly sure whether the campaign is a parody… or not.
At the bottom of the Stoner Sloth’s tumblr page, the New South Wales Department of Premier of Cabinet (DPC) is credited; plus a link to Your Room, a drugs and alcohol information page. A WHOIS search on the domain points to the DPC as the registrant. So it looks pretty legit.
Use, possession, sale, or growth of cannabis remains illegal across Australia; albeit decriminalised for minor offences in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The Victorian government announced in October 2015 that medicinal cannabis will be available for exceptional circumstances from 2017.
UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 19, 4:17 p.m. AEDT: The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) confirmed in a statement via email to Mashable Australia that they are behind the Stoner Sloth campaign, in consultation with NSW Health. “The Stoner Sloth public awareness campaign has been designed to encourage positive behaviours in young people before bad habits start, and motivate discontinued use of cannabis before they become dependent,” according to a DPC spokesperson.
Read more at: mashable.com