On my poster, I wanted to raise awareness of the potential life-threatening dangers that not only face participants of high driving behind the wheel, but those around the driver as well. As I mentioned in a previous post, law enforcement’s inability to effectively determine high driving before Prop 61 is enacted may lead to an increase in high driving as these drivers will not have to worry about being caught. My goal for this poster is for readers, marijuana users in particular, to consider risks other than being caught by law enforcement that are incurred by driving high. What I hope marijuana consumers and people considering trying marijuana visualize is that smoking weed impairs their ability to drive and endangers their lives and the lives of others.
In order to effectively communicate and visualize this idea, I included two anti-marijuana symbols in the top corners to catch the reader’s attention and indicate right away that this poster is against marijuana consumption in some form. The dark green represents the color of life as well as the color of marijuana leaves, but the darker color tone symbolizes how there is a darker and more serious side to weed. At the top-center of the poster, written in the largest font on the page, I added the slogan, “Don’t Take the High Way”, a play on the words “highway” as in roads and “high” as in the feeling consumers get after smoking marijuana. This statement is intended to sound clever in order to draw the reader’s attention and have him or her think critically about the statement’s meaning.
The next text the reader comes across is the statement, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean your passengers should be too,” alluding to the fact that one of the side effects smoking marijuana is increased anxiety and paranoia. This anxiety and paranoia is also present in the passenger who feels unsafe in a car with a driver who is under the influence. The message that I am trying to convey through this statement is two-fold; first, driving high is unsafe due to raised levels of paranoia that can lead to making wrong and fatal decisions on the road. Second, and less obvious but more important, is that driving high does not only affect the driver but is unsafe for all parties involved–the driver, passenger, pedestrians, other drivers, and other people who the driver may not consider before sparking up behind the wheel.
In between the two sets of text is an image that visualizes the messages of the written statements. The image depicts a scenario that may become all too often with the legalization of marijuana, where the driver is smoking while behind the wheel with a passenger in the car. The two women portray the intended demographic I am trying to reach with this poster, everyday common young people who casually smoke while driving without considering the dangerous implications. Though the female driver has her eyes towards the road, she is recklessly driving with one hand on the wheel and a joint in the other as she blows smoke into the passenger’s face. Judging by the look on her face, the passenger is obviously distraught by the driver’s smoke, echoing the sentiment brought up in the second statement. Also, the driver seems relaxed and oblivious to how her actions are affecting her passenger, mirroring how high drivers are often oblivious to how dangerous their actions can be. An aspect of smoking while driving not mentioned in the text that is brought up in the picture is that smoking inside the car not only puts the driver in an impaired mental state, but the smoke inside in the car further impairs the ability to drive by impeding visibility.
Finally, at the bottom right of the poster I added the slogan, “Drive High or Say Goodbye” along with the link to my wordpress. “Drive High or Say Goodbye” is intended to have a more solemn and somber tone than the rest of the poster in order to emphasize to the reader the seriousness of this issue. The link to my wordpress is there for those readers who are intrigued by the message the poster is conveying or simply want to learn more about marijuana legalization.