The Colorado Gazette raises excellent issues and points out just how difficult of a position the state of Colorado and public health experts have been put in because of Colorado’s marijuana laws. The state is spending money to inform visitors and Colorado citizens on basic laws after finding too few citizens and most visitors don’t even know marijuana remains illegal for those under the age of 21, or isn’t for public consumption. Unfortunately, education on marijuana laws is coming before the general public and most importantly Colorado youth have been informed on the health risks and impacts of using marijuana, and yet the drug has already become highly commercialized, particularly in Denver. With THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana reaching record highs, Colorado’s pot is fundamentally a harder, stronger, drug. A growing number of studies done on lower THC levels already show marijuana changes the structure of the teenage brain, impacting cognition and academic performance and can lead to permanent and significant declines in IQ. It is critical Colorado kids and the general public immediately gain access to factual information about the potential harms and risks of consuming Colorado’s pot and just how detrimental it is for the developing brain. These messages should be delivered with the urgency and power of Colorado’s youth prevention campaigns for tobacco.
EDITORIAL: State’s ad campaign promotes pot use
Published: January 6, 2015
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Intelligent minds differ about the need for a war on drugs and laws against pot. Yet, few on either side thought state government would promote marijuana use with a slick, multimillion-dollar marketing campaign.
It began Monday, just a year after Colorado launched the world’s first wide-scale, store-front, take-out sales of a drug that’s illegal in most of the world. The initial $5.7 million to fund the ads will come from pot taxes that were supposed to be used for drug education. If these ads are educational, so was Joe Camel.
State officials said the first series of print, radio and TV ads target tourists. They announced plans to direct future ads at pregnant mothers, teens, parents and Hispanics. All media reports emphasize the ads are not intended to discourage marijuana use.
“This is not an aversion campaign,” said Larry Wolk, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, speaking at a press conference Monday.