Colorado Advocacy Group Runs Maureen Down-Inspired Weed Safety PSA

Here’s an amusing aside from Colorado, which — as Denver Post editor Ricardo Baca reminded us earlier this month — is now home to a large and quickly growing legal marijuana industry.

When something becomes a legitimate consumer good, its sale requires PR and marketing services. Longstanding advocacy group The Marijuana Policy Project and its CO-based spinoff Consume Responsibly have assumed those duties, responding to New York Times writer Maureen Dowd’s infamous “I ate too much pot and TOTALLY freaked out” op-ed with a mature PSA campaign and an outdoor billboard (note the red hair, which is obviously her natural color):

Consume responsibly

The campaign is fairly extensive: it includes a web presence and some print elements after the jump.

Here’s the print spot, which collects a series of anti-pot ads from past years and ridicules them:

weed ads

The related advocacy campaign is clever and specific: it’s called “First Time 5“, meaning that consumers should stick to 5-gram doses the first time they try what the industry calls “edibles” to avoid overdoing it.

We also like the tagline, which is now being shared by several area businesses.

This is really nothing new though, is it? Talking Points Memo may call it “Stoner PR“, but from where we sit it looks a whole lot like what the alcohol industry has been doing for the last, oh, 80 years.

And while no firms have attached their names to this particular project, we can’t imagine too many Colorado PR/marketing shops would hesitate to get work promoting an industry that earned more than $14 million in its first month of existence.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.