The Washington state Department of Health is issuing an apology after an anti-marijuana billboard has received backlash for being offensive.
Mike Faulk, a St. Louis-based journalist, tweeted a photo of the billboard found in Yakima, WA, which reads, "We don't need pot to have fun. We're Hispanics... we're cool by default."
The ad, judging from its very targeted language, is aimed at preventing young people — particularly Hispanic youths — from using marijuana.
As many Twitter users have pointed out, the ad's targeting is... strange, to say the least.
The health department's spokeswoman, Julie Graham, told the New York Daily News that the billboard was put up in June, and will hopefully be removed by Wednesday following social media outrage. She also told the Daily News that about 60 young people came up with the idea of the billboard in order to educate their peers about marijuana usage.
On Tuesday, the state's health department acknowledged the billboard on Twitter, writing, "Our prevention billboard has offended some & we're sorry. We're taking steps to remove it as soon as possible."
Not only is the ad tinged with racial undertones, it offers a pretty weak argument for why weed is bad (despite, of course, it actually being beneficial for those dealing with a wide variety of medical issues).
"We are new in learning how to reach youth," Graham told the Daily News.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.
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