The State of Colorado, which has operated a successful cannabis industry for over the past year and a half, has launched a new drug-awareness campaign called “What’s Next” that they hope will provide teens with a more truthful motivation to keep them from using marijuana before they are adults.
The latest series of educational public service announcements are intended to replace last year’s controversial “Don’t Be a Lab Rat” campaign, which many cannabis advocates and teens alike believed to be a modern day method to reefer madness. The latest slogan, however, comes with a more honest message: “Marijuana isn’t evil, but teens aren’t ready for it.”
Rather than use fear tactics rooted in weak science to discourage the use of cannabis until adulthood, the rebranded effort simply suggests that people under the age of 21 should refrain from consuming marijuana because it could prevent them from achieving academically as well as cause them trouble when looking to secure gainful employment.
Last year’s campaign employed the use of large cages outside of schools as a means for relaying the potential dangers associated with minor cannabis consumption. Yet, some schools were so offended by this ignorant scheme that they refused to allow the cages on campus. And kids, well, they didn’t really take them seriously. In fact, there were a number of photos that surfaced on the Internet shortly after that campaign was launched that showed kids were gathering in these cages to get stoned.
This time around, the state went straight to the source; seeking the counsel of hundreds of minors in order to devise a message that would be more respected than the use of old school propaganda tactics.
According to a press releases issued by the Health Department, teenagers “want credible information to make their own health decisions and don’t respond to ‘preachy’ messages or scare tactics.”
Essentially, the goal of the updated campaign is to “teach [teens] that marijuana use is not something to build an identity around.”
All of Colorado’s campaigns to keep kids off pot are funded exclusively from money generated through the recreational marijuana market.
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