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REEFER MADNESS

Maureen Dowd’s pot overdose inspired Colorado’s newest drug safety ad

Heather Timmons
By Heather Timmons

White House correspondent

I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s very public confession about overdosing on a marijuana-laced candy bar has inspired the imagery in a new, $75,000 “Consume Responsibly” campaign being rolled out in Colorado.

In the US, public service advertising about marijuana in the past has focused on trying to convince consumers not to use it, because it was illegal. In this campaign, which targets people in a state that has recently relaxed its marijuana laws, the message instead will focus on using the drug legally, moderating consumption, and knowing your limits.

A campaign billboard in Denver shows a distraught-looking, redheaded woman in a hotel room—a reference to Dowd’s column, as well as her famous mane. The campaign also includes magazine advertisements and pamphlets encouraging people not to smoke and drive, and to lock up their stash so their children can’t get into it.

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