In 2009, the Government of Canada launched a renewed effort to convince kids that drugs are bad. This was the result.
Clear? If you smoke weed, you will argue with your mom and get in trouble at school and be kind of stressed out. And you will inevitably start taking E. Of course.
Public service announcements (PSAs) about drugs never used to be this soft, especially in Canada. In the early 90s, they were scary. Not as scary as British PSAs (known across the pond as PIFs, or public information films), which are renowned for their gratuitously graphic imagery. The good people of Concerned Childrens Advertisers (now known as Companies Committed to Kids, and also history's greatest liars) didn't need to shock us with gore. They shocked us with truth. And darkness. And sometimes puppets. We'll get to the puppets later.
These days, CCK is busy with campaigns relating to bullying, active living, self-esteem and media literacy. In a March 2016 interview with Vice, CCK director Bev Deev said the organization's "outlook has shifted" when it comes to substance abuse. (The same is true for many Canadians, unless your name rhymes with Shmellie Fleitch.) But the memory of CCK's previous outlook has endured. I must have been four years old the first time I saw their earliest work; 23 years later, I still haven't so much as touched a joint to my lips. (I am very cool.) Such was the resonance of those fucking wire cutters. We'll get to those later, too.
None of this is to say all of their commercials served their purpose. Some achieved Government of Canada levels of weaksauce. Others were just plain silly. But if you grew up on a steady diet of YTV, they were all memorable. Let's get to the list.