It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…marijuana bud? ResponsibleOhio, a group committed to the legalizing marijuana in the state of Ohio, introduced the world to Buddie, the caped cannabis crusader. Buddie, a disturbingly congenial anthropomorphic marijuana bud, serves as the awkwardly grinning face of ResponsibleOhio’s Issue 3 initiative to legalize marijuana in the state of Ohio. However, early reactions on both sides of the fence indicate that the idea of Buddie as a mascot may have been a misfire.
Buddie the Superheroic Marijuana Bud
The beaming marijua
na bud known as buddie made his first public appearance on August 25th
, crashing into our reality through a picture posted by ResponsibleOhio’s Facebook page. Followers of ResponsibleOhio were forced to come to grips with a smirk that seemed somehow more lascivious than heroic, possibly through an unfortunate placement of the eyebrows. That smirk was plastered across an oversized marijuana bud perched atop a ripped physique swathed in white spandex with leafy green gloves and boots. Emblazoned across buddy’s chest was the rather straightforward insignia: a white “B” against a green cannabis leaf against a blue silhouette of the state of Ohio.
A Damning Response for Buddie
Anyone could be excused for a knee-jerk reaction of confused unease to the merry marijuana bud in tights, but as ResponsibleOhio soon found, the reception was a tad bit chillier. Some alleged ResponsibleOhio were actually being irresponsible with campaign funds, citing the grimacing foam rubber marijuana bud. Others felt a cartoonish mascot distracted from the serious points that needed to be made to ensure the passing of ResponsibleOhio’s Issue 3. But the most crippling assessment of Buddie were comparisons to Joe Camel and the infamous targeting of children that marketing companies used for nicotine products, seen in modern times as distasteful at the least. The public outrage over Joe Camel was so severe that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco phased their mascot out entirely.
Buddie’s Campaign Trail
Currently, Buddie is on a campaign trail with ResponsibleOhio. The jolly green marijuana bud is travelling via the company’s Green Rush Bus Tour, hitting up Ohio’s college campuses to spread the good word about Issue 3. ResponsibleOhio’s Issue 3 amendment is set to offer Ohio voters the chance to legalize marijuana on November 3rd
’s ballot. Since Issue 3 is at the heart of the organization’s efforts, they’re planning on dragging Buddie to 150 campaign stops across all 88 of Ohio’s counties with a focus on college campuses.
The Mascot Misfire
A cartoonish marijuana bud as a superhero is more than likely an innocent attempt to appeal to college students as opposed to a subversive effort to market marijuana to children. But the effects of marijuana legalization on America’s youth is a hot topic for cannabis prohibitionists, despite statistics in legal states showing an actual decrease in marijuana use among minors
. The ill-conceived mascot of Buddie the intrepid marijuana bud is exactly the kind of misstep prohibitionists can sieze upon to discredit ResponsibleOhio’s pro-legalization stance. Plus, as one astute Facebook user pointed out, a cannabis superhero probably isn’t necessary in raising college student’s awareness of marijuana. It’s unclear how ResponsibleOhio will respond to the public outcry over the irresponsibility of Buddie. The humanoid marijuana bud still continues to appear in candid shots on the group’s community Facebook page and they have yet to respond to any of the comments regarding Buddie.