SAAQ: Driving and cannabis don’t mix

The auto licenser and insurer has a serious message, but what's with the chips?


It’s never a good idea to let marijuana take the wheel.

That’s the message in a new public service announcement (PSA) from Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) by agency Lg2, as three people drive along a boring stretch of highway, each immersed in their own thoughts, no one speaking.

Slowly, the leaves of a cannabis plant morph into a pair of hands with lanky fingers that creep from beneath the seat of the driver, to take control of the vehicle as it slides into the oncoming lane.

The scene is frantically cut short, as an aerial shot of a head-on collision is narrated by the sound of the screeching halt of tires. “Cannabis is stronger than you think” flashes across the screen followed by, “Never drive high.”


The “high” of THC can creep up on you (we’ve all been there), particularly for the flood of new uneducated cannabis indulgers who have emerged since legalization. But, the passenger in the backseat, so precariously placed in the middle, begs two questions. Did an extra set of eyes really not see the oncoming vehicle? Or was it because he was busy perpetuating the tired “every stoner must have the munchies” stereotype?


SAAQ achieves here what it seems to have set out to do – shock and awe in the name of education and awareness – not everyone driving under the influence of cannabis is doing so in the middle of the night or against the backdrop of thumping bass. A seemingly innocent mid-day jaunt can turn deadly in an instant; point taken. But can we can it on the stoner stereotypes? It’s not the ’70s anymore, enough with the chip-eating clichés, K?


Advertiser: Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec
Agency: Lg2