The Washington Department of Health attempted to create a billboard that would discourage youth from smoking marijuana, but instead, came up with a racist concept aimed at insulting Latinos. And after seeing this billboard, we can’t help but think people would have been better off smoking.
The billboard was brought to national attention by a St. Louis journalist, who shared a photo on Twitter. “We don’t need pot to have fun. We’re Hispanics … We’re cool by default,” the giant billboard reads. Along with the message, there are also portraits of five Latinx kids.
“Who approved this,” one person asked on Twitter. That definitely seemed to be a common question among Twitter users, especially since weed was legalized in the state of Washington in 2016. Following the backlash however, WA Department of Health spokesman, Julie Graham, issued a statement explaining the creative direction. Apparently, a group of 60 local youth helped ideate the billboard’s message, in order to target the city’s large Latino demographic, according to The Republic.
After realizing the advertisement was an epic fail, the department has announced that it will be removed. Moving forward, they might want to do a final screening before going public with anything this huge again.