Orange You Glad You Are Only Doing Weed

August 19, 2008

These are the first words on a public service announcement that is currently playing on Channel One’s MIDDLE SCHOOL broadcast.

This is from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, an ad industry group that has produced many exceptional PSAs.

Channel One has a long history of airing age-inappropriate PSAs to its younger audience. By airing a message meant for an older audience, Channel One is normalizing drug use among preteens.

[Several years ago Channel One News was criticized by the National Office of Drug Control Policy for airing news stories that helped normalize drug use among young people.]

This pops up next in this silent PSA which is called Orange Bubble Eye.

You can see where this is going. The creators of this spot wanted people to think about how they have moved along to harder and harder drugs.

The intent is to get men and women to think about how they have fooled themselves into thinking one drug didn’t lead to another.

The words are almost comical. "Okay, of course, I smoked pot. Okay, of course, I did ecstasy. Okay, you got me, you know I did cocaine." Nobody should be talking like this to kids just out of elementary school.

This PSA most certainly has power when shown to a drug user who is old enough to have had this unfortunate history of broad drug use.

As these words change on the Channel One TV screen each previous drug becomes "less harmful."

Marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine were all SURVIVABLE. This is the unintended message to the viewer especially when the viewer is younger.

Never what? What else is there?

This is so age-inappropriate for Channel One’s audience that it makes one wonder what type of drugs Channel One’s Kent Haehl and Paul Folkemer were when they approved this spot.

This PSA sends a reckless message to kids by NORMALIZING drug use. "So many other middle school students are doing drugs that that is why my school is showing me this."

Preteens who watch this have to think that marijuana and ecstasy are mild, relatively harmless drugs that are only bad if you allow yourself to progress to harder drugs.


All these orange bubbles become an eye.

The problem for parents is it is hard to keep an eye on what their child is being exposed to on Channel One News. Channel One streams their middle school broadcast on their web site, but refuse to let parents see their high school content. [High schoolers often see different advertising and PSAs.]

If this PSA was thought to be appropriate for 6th graders, one can only imagine what is on the high school version of Channel One.


Of course you are not in control. You have graduated from the "softer" drugs to the "harder" drugs.

What are you going to do now?

Is this PSA going to encourage a child to talk to a parent, or a teacher, or an adult they trust?

No, that’s not the advice Channel One’s PSAs ever give.


If a student has such a bad drug habit that he or she has graduated to, or beyond, heroin, then the student needs to go to… a web site.

The web site confirms that Channel One News has made a terrible mistake by showing this PSA to middle school students. The site doesn’t even say it’s intended for "teens" it says for "older teens" and it is obvious that college students could also benefit from seeing this.

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