Washington State Health Department misfires on anti-pot message targeting Latinos

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Health is apologizing after some people were offended by anti-marijuana messaging aimed at Latino youth in the Yakima area.

The public health campaign includes advertisements and at least one billboard that says, “We don’t need pot to have fun,” and “We’re Hispanics … We’re cool by default.”

Health Department spokeswoman Julie Graham says it’s clear from the reaction on social media that some people were offended. The department said on its Twitter feed Tuesday that it will remove the billboard.

Graham says the ads are part of a statewide effort to prevent teens from using marijuana. A group of about 60 local youth helped craft the message running in Yakima, which they thought would be effective in their demographic.



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