tv & movies

Rachael Leigh Cook recreates ‘Brain on Drugs’ PSA for 4/20 – but with a twist

Twenty years after starring in a “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” ad, Rachael Leigh Cook is appearing in a remake of the PSA – this time to make an important point about the War on Drugs.

In the famous 1997 anti-drug commercial, the Minneapolis actress smashes up eggs and a kitchen with a frying pan to highlight the impact of taking heroin.

The frying pan and eggs motif returns for the remake, but this time it’s joined by animation highlighting the disproportionate enforcement of the War on Drugs policy and the negative impact it can have, particularly on minority communities. This ad has been released on 4/20.

Cook’s new video touches on the difficulty people have restarting their lives after drug convictions, using a brown egg to show how prison stays limit job prospects and preclude people from getting the financial aid they need to go back to school.

“The war on drugs is ruining people’s lives,” Cook says. “It fuels mass incarceration, it targets people of color in greater numbers than their white counterparts. It cripples communities, it costs billions, and it doesn’t work. Any questions?”

You can read about this racial disparity via Politifact, the ACLU, or Forbes.

Here’s the new version, “Your Brain on Drug Policy,” which was put together by Green Point Creative:

What has Rachael Leigh Cook been up to?

You’ll probably remember Cook from her lead role in 1999 movie She’s All That alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Paul Walker (RIP). She got her start as a precocious 10-year-old as a print model, appearing in nationwide ads for Target and Milk Bone dog biscuits.

Although she hasn’t been quite so visible on the silver screen since the turn of the century, the Minneapolis South High School grad has carved out a successful and busy TV career.

According to IMDB, she’s had significant roles in Psych and Perception, and is in demand as a voice actress, voicing characters in Robot Chicken and video games including Star Wars and the Final Fantasy series.

For those of you who want the reminder, here’s the original 1997 version of the drugs PSA.

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