OK, many of you reading (and certainly me writing) have smoked weed and felt lethargic, slower than usual, happy to sit giggling in a pile of Doritos. I think it’s hard to argue that weed makes you "better", but the crux of this campaign launched by the Australian government is that it makes you way worse, so bad in fact, that your behaviour and physiology is similar to that of the sloth, an animal famed for its listlessness, inability to speak or do anything, really.
The New South Wales government’s #stonersloth campaign "You’re Worse On Weed", features a sloth under the influence, unable to carry out the most basic of tasks. The videos imagine perfectly routine, everyday situations that the sloth is unable to carry out, at which point he makes strange, frustrated noises, backed up by doleful guitar, while people whisper "stoner sloth" disparagingly. See some examples below.
Pass the salt at the dinner table? He can’t, he’s a stoned sloth, he’ll pick up the salad by mistake.
Turn up at a houseparty and interact normally with friends? No way, he’s a stoned sloth.
Revise properly for important exams? Impossible. He’s a sloth and he’s totally out of it.
Pose in a "fun way" for a selfie with friends? Get outta here, this is a sloth we’re dealing with here. A stoned one.
It’s fair to say that the campaign hasn’t exactly been a roaring success, having spawned countless parody videos and suffered the indignity of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre – the research group that it was initially linked with – distance itself from the stoner sloth campaign. “While we wish the NSW Government luck in future cannabis campaigns, the current Stoner Sloth campaign doesn't reflect NCPIC views on how cannabis harms campaigns should be approached, as was implied by the media,” said a statement.
It was also unlikely that the internet was going to ignore a gift as a good as an anti-weed campaign running on the idea that smoking is so bad for you that you’ll begin to behave exactly like a sloth. Naturally, countless send ups of "You’re Worse On Weed" have turned up, a personal favourite being one of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott performing worse in an interview than a sloth probably would.