These handouts advocating for the responsible use of marijuana will be available at some marijuana retail locations in Colorado. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)

It’s too late for Maureen Dowd, but marijuana advocates hope they can prevent others from suffering through a too-harsh high.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which played a significant role in helping to pass legalization in Colorado, is launching a $75,000 public education campaign to counter what communications director Mason Tvert describes in a statement as decades of “exaggeration, fear mongering, and condescension.” The campaign will launch at noon in Denver, Colo., in front of a billboard aimed at tourists that reads “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation.”


This outdoor ad will be featured on at least one billboard in Denver, Colo. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)

Ensuring the safe use of edible marijuana products has proven troublesome since marijuana sales began in Colorado in January. Public smoking is banned and most hotels don’t allow smoking on their premises, so many pot tourists turn to edibles. But because many people have more experience smoking marijuana than consuming it in edible form, and because the high is slower to take hold with edibles, it can prove hard for users to self-regulate, as was the case for New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

“I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy,” she wrote in a June column that was ridiculed by legal pot advocates at the time.

The campaign will feature print ads, online ads and literature to be distributed at retail locations urging responsible consumption and directing people to ConsumeResponsibly.org. It will present information about products, laws and the effects of marijuana. The group plans to spend at least $75,000 by the end of the year and hopes to continue raising funds to support the campaign. Publications that target adult marijuana consumers, such as the Hemp Connoisseur in Colorado, will also run the ads.

“Like most Americans, Ms. Dowd has probably seen countless silly anti-marijuana ads on TV, but she has never seen one that highlights the need to ‘start low and go slow’ when choosing to consume marijuana edibles,” Tvert said in the statement.

The campaign will begin in Colorado and eventually expand to Washington.

The planned online ads

An online ad for the "Consume Responsibly" campaign to educate consumers on marijuana use. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)
An online ad for the “Consume Responsibly” campaign to educate consumers on marijuana use. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)
An online ad for the "Consume Responsibly" campaign to educate consumers on marijuana use. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)
An online ad for the “Consume Responsibly” campaign to educate consumers on marijuana use. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)

The planned print ad


The print ad for the “Consume Responsibly” campaign to educate consumers on marijuana use. (ConsumeResponsibly.org)