Is “Don’t Be A Lab Rat” Anti-Pot Campaign Racist?


Earlier this month, we told you about “Don’t Be a Lab Rat,” a new campaign aimed at dissuading teens from smoking pot. The multi-media effort, backed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, includes oversized rat cages intended to be displayed in public places throughout the state.
Now, however, the City of Boulder and Boulder Valley Schools have rejected the displays, and that cheers one cannabis-industry representative, who calls the cages racist and thinks Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper should apologize for the campaign.

Shawn Coleman, a lobbyist for the marijuana industry, has problems with the cages, too, and while he applauds the school district and the city for its stance, he uses much less cautious language to describe his objections.
“One of the reasons the War on Drugs is starting to end is because people are tired of black and brown people being thrown in jail for marijuana,” he continues. “And these rat cages are the exact same size as a human prison cell. How can they believe people won’t make that connection immediately? It’s terrible that we incarcerate black and Latino men in outrageous numbers for marijuana use — and then they come out with a campaign with cages?”
Read the rest of Coleman’s interview at The Latest Word.