Watch Rachael Leigh Cook Remake 'Brain on Drugs' Ad for 4/20 - Rolling Stone
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Watch Rachael Leigh Cook Remake ‘Brain on Drugs’ Ad for 4/20

Actress tweaks frying pan, egg motif into critique of failed war on drugs

Rachael Leigh Cook, who starred in the 1997 version of the “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, appears in a new video for 4/20 that spoofs the ad’s frying pan and egg motif to highlight the devastating effects of the war on drugs, especially on minority communities.

In her original spot, Cook used a frying pan to bash an egg and destroy a kitchen to show what happens to a person’s brain and life if they use heroin. The new clip from Green Point Creative opens with Cook holding a white egg and explaining that it represents one of the millions of Americans who uses drugs but never gets arrested. She then picks up a brown egg and says, “This American is several times more likely to be charged with a drug crime.”

Cook goes on to narrate an animated sequence in which the brown egg is arrested and filtered through the criminal justice system, only to be continually whacked by a skillet on the outside. The narrative touches on the way felony drug convictions often hinder peoples’ job prospects and preclude them from receiving financial aid to return to school. 

“The war on drugs is ruining peoples’ lives,” Cook says, holding up a pan smeared with yolk. “It fuels mass incarceration, it targets people of color in greater numbers than their white counter parts. It cripples communities, it costs billions, and it doesn’t work. Any questions?”

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