SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County is launching a campaign in the wake of recreational marijuana legalization to send a message to teens: Don’t become a pot head!

The county’s Behavioral Health Services using new ads with the slogan, “It’s called wasted for a reason.”

The anti-pot ad campaign is eye-catching, edgy and authentic.

“He looks like how I used to be,” San Jose resident Marvin Macario said with a laugh after seeing one of the ads on the side of a bus.

The new public service spots will be appearing on bus billboards, in social media and at movie theatres

The ads show people whose lives are going up in smoke.

“He looks like he’s out of his mind.  He looks like he’s really doped out real good.”

Stephanie Kitchen with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health says with the legalization of recreational pot in California for adults, young people are getting mixed messages.

“‘It’s called wasted for a reason.’ And the reason we put that together is because we wanted address the issue of marijuana, particularly for our young people,” explained Kitchen.

The ads are designed to “clear the air” about two specific points. One, pot is not legal for people under 21; and two, it can affect brain development in teenagers.

“The results of that is that it affects their IQ. It affects their memory, their attention span,” said Kitchen. “And at this point, when they are learning, it affects how they are going to succeed in school.”

Macario says he used to use pot when he was 15 and 16, but not anymore.

“It made me less productive. Basically I was just trying to stay on the couch,” said Marcario. “Got me stuck, that’s about it though.”

He thinks the new ad campaign has a chance to get the message to its target audience.

“If it’s going on a bus, it might make a difference,” said Marcario.

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