Campaign targets Gen Z drivers who get behind the wheel stoned

Driving stoned is illegal and dangerous, but many young drivers are not getting the message, and a new campaign is hoping to change that using language youth can relate to.

Research from the Canadian Automobile Association says one-in-five Canadian youth aged 18-24 say they've gotten behind the wheel stoned or, as a passenger, with a driver who had used cannabis before driving.

The results inspired the organization to release five public service announcements directed at Generation Z drivers born between 1997 and 2012.

The effect of cannabis edibles can take longer to manifest, and last longer. Whatever else you choose to do, please make sure you don’t get behind the wheel. Plan ahead. #DoAnythingButDrive pic.twitter.com/P7pN3tFwsE

— Canadian Automobile Association (@CAA) September 18, 2020

"They're at the bottom of the learning curve of driving, so let's not put a hurdle on their first lesson of driving. Let's educate them," said CAA Quebec spokesperson Nicholas Ryan.

The campaign comes almost two years after cannabis was legalized in Canada.

The National Cannabis Survey revealed that 15 per cent of people with a driver's license who use cannabis admitted that they drive under its influence.

"It's not as bad a drinking and driving, in my opinion," one Gen Z driver told CTV News.

Some disagree with this attitude.

"It results to the same thing at the end of the day, you know? - you're not sober," said another.

The CAA said it hopes the PSAs will help change the culture and language around driving under the influence.

"The term 'designated driver' is mostly associated with alcohol. Well, let's bring it down for cannabis as well! Let's have a designated driver tonight so no one will have alcohol or cannabis," said Ryan. 

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