Even the NSW premier is cracking jokes about his government's anti-marijuana campaign

Photo: Screenshot/ Stoner Sloth

The New South Wales government has released an anti-marijuana campaign featuring a large animal dubbed “Stoner Sloth”. The response to the campaign has ranged from ridicule to bewilderment and “what-the…?”

The video series features the animal character, “Stoner Sloth”, who is unable to sit a high school exam, pass salt around the dinner table and mingle with others at a party.

Created by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) in consultation with NSW Health, the campaign was marketed with the tagline “You’re worse on weed”.

NSW Premier Mike Baird even made light of the campaign, tweeting that he wasn’t sure where they’d found “Chewbacca’s siblings.”

The campaign — launched on stonersloth.com.au accompanied by the hashtags #youreworseonweed, #embarrassed – embarrassingly, initially misspelled as “embarrased” – #tfw and #tmw — has been widely mocked was “the least effective drug campaign” while others claimed it would encourage more people to get stoned.

Some critics have pondered what those responsible for the campaign are taking, especially since far from being a derogatory term, stoner sloth is a term widely used by marijuana users — to the point that if someone typing in the government’s website address forgets to add the “au”, they would end up at a drugs and drug paraphernalia site.

Others have been left scratching their heads about whether a fear of being unable to pass the salt at the family dinner table is enough to turn young people away from the lure of drugs, while many have pointed out that sloths are such a widely loved animal that it will likely to make smoking marijuana look cool.

No one seems sure whether the 30-second ads were intentionally meant to be funny, but nearly everyone thinks, for better or worse, that they are.

The government’s Facebook community has garnered nearly 14,000 likes since its inception.

“Passing the salt…. The struggle is real.”

Photo: Screenshot/ Stoner Sloth

“Life of the party… said no one ever.”

Photo: Screenshot/ Stoner Sloth

“Weed’s not exactly a performance enhancing drug.”

Photo: Screenshot/ Stoner Sloth

Cannabis is currently classified as a “prohibited poison” and its use, possession and cultivation is illegal in Australia, but penalties for such offences are varied across each state and territory.

Here were some of the responses following the release of the campaign.

You can watch the video compilation of the three-part video series here.

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