"Your poor little brains still developing. You're so young," says a purple, vest-clad oracle named Weedini. "But if you eventually do start using the green, don't do it too often. Otherwise you just become a burnout, which is not cool, yo."
Weedini is the star of one of four comics created through a $1.8-million Health Canada initiative to help the Northwest Territories educate its youth about the dangers of cannabis consumption.
Illustrated by Yellowknife-born artist Cody Fennell and featuring augmented reality work by Verge Communications, Weedini and his friends — including Stoney the Inukshuk and Roach the Raven — will live on posters and magazines across the territory. People can use an app on their phone to see them come to life.
In one of the ads, a man and a woman are about to smoke under the Northern Lights when the aurora morphs into an unborn baby.
"Hi, I'm your unborn baby," the yellow-eyed fetus intones. "And I want talk to you about how marijuana can affect me."
The comics were revealed last Friday at a Yellowknife public library, according to local station Cabin Radio. Territory officials seemed confident that the messaging will get through to kids.
"They seemed to really like the creepy baby," Glen Abernethy, the territory's health minister, told Cabin Radio. "I thought it might be not as popular, because it is a little creepy. But it really resonated well with the kids."
The comics will also be featured as a magazine, according to the CBC.
Money for the territory's cannabis education will be spread out over the next three years and across 33 communities. Different ways of delivering the information will be explored, including theatre productions.
"We're going to provide them with some resources and the information they need," Abernathy told Cabin Radio. "If we hear they don't like that, we'll try something else, we're open to that."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that the the Northwest Territories spent $1.8-billion on this Health Canada initiative. It was actually $1.8-million.
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