Missouri-based cannabis company Show-Me Organics released a video ad taking aim at opioids and the ongoing epidemic of addiction to the drug. The launch coincides with Opioid Awareness Month in September and Overdose Awareness Day, August 31.
The 30-second ad spot, a joint effort between Show-Me Organics and creative agency Bandits & Friends, satirizes the traditional pharmaceutical ad format with an “ask your doctor” call to action and visuals that aren’t relevant to the topic of the commercial.
Drawing awareness to opioids being the most commonly prescribed medication for pain, despite the fact that over 100 Americans die of opioid-related overdoses per day, the commercial posits cannabis as a less deadly alternative for pain management.
“It feels like the right time to deliver this message because awareness of our opioid epidemic has become prevalent thanks to government-sponsored campaigns, but those stop short of discussing cannabis as a safer alternative because it’s still federally prohibited,” said Show-Me Organics CEO Boston Dickerson in a press release.
Interestingly, the brand said the mention of cannabis — not opioids — caused the ad to be rejected by all major broadcast networks in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. It will still run in cinema, streaming and digital video.
Though opioids continue to be over-prescribed, fueling the epidemic, cannabis still remains illegal at the federal level, though this may change. A top official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday called for marijuana to be moved from a Schedule I classification to the less restrictive Schedule III.
This article originally appeared on Campaign US.