Possessing small amounts of illicit drugs will no longer mean jail time in Oregon, and four other states legalized recreational marijuana on Election Day. USA TODAY


The claim: Ad Council warns against the murderous effects of marijuana

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, a purported advertisement from the Ad Council warning people of the “murderous” side effects of marijuana went viral on social media.

“This Thanksgiving remember the cranberry sauce but forget the Marijuana,” the  claimed advertisement reads, which was posted to Facebook. “Terry was convinced to take a ‘toke’ of a joint with his friend ‘just to relax.’ Immediately after, Terry killed his friend who had given him the marijuana in a murderous craze. Not so safe, is it?”

“That ‘toke’ lead to a murderous craze. Ad council was in they BAG With this one,” the user captioned the post, which has over 200 shares and over 1,800 reactions.

"Whoever wrote this ad was most definitely high," wrote Comedian Laura Clery, along with the image. 

USA TODAY reached out to the user and Clery for comment.

In previous years, the same alleged advertisement has been posted to Redditt forums, Twitter and meme sites. 

Fact check:campaigns that warn marijuana users not to drive while under the drug's influence, but none on its "murderous" side effects, as claimed in the viral content.

Ad Council Spokesman Ben Dorf confirmed to USA TODAY via email that the social media image is not a real advertisement from the Ad Council. 

In 2019,, also reported on the viral image and found it to be false. 

Further, in small text on the bottom right of the advertisement near the fake Ad Council logo, a message reads, “If you or someone you know is addicted to marijuana, call Domino’s at 215-712-1000, rent a tape and enjoy!”

Fact check: Don't believe that viral 'Ad Council' marijuana Thanksgiving PSA - it's fake

  • Ad Council, Drug-Impaired Driving Prevention
  • Ben Dorf, spokesman for Ad Council, email to USA TODAY
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