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Kids and Cannabis


Kids and Cannabis

Now that “legalization” has transformed from a buzzword into growing reality, America is starting to think about the kids. Oh, crap. The kids.

Well, that’s not entirely true. “Think of the children!” is still a popular argument against marijuana legalization. Legalizing the drug will in turn make it more accessible, to a degree. But we’ve dealt with the same issue in regards to alcohol, so it’s easily rebuffed.

So, America HAS thought of the kids. Maybe what they forgot, more specifically, is that kids don’t like being lied to, and we’ve been telling them about the danger of marijuana use for a very, very long time. It’s probably confusing for them now that we’ve changed our minds.

Well…now what? Drug educators see the problem, and are changing the conversation.

Let’s have a quiz. Of the two examples, which is a more ethical and effective way to educate children about marijuana?

1. In Colorado, the Department of Health and Environment has launched an anti-cannabis ad targeted at teenagers ages 12 through 15. The premise is “Don’t Be a Lab Rat,” informing teens that using marijuana makes them “unwitting lab rats” due to a lack of understanding how it affects developing brains. The campaign is complete with human-sized rat cages staged at schools and in popular hangouts.

Human-sized rat cage sits outside the Denver Public Library
www.BusinessWire.com.

2. Drug educators, directed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have been telling teenagers the facts, backed up by research. What are they?

  • Your brain isn’t fully developed until you reach your early 20’s.
  • If you abuse alcohol or any drugs in your teens, you’re more vulnerable to long-term substance abuse.
  • Marijuana use in the early teens can result in loss of IQ points.
  • Smoking marijuana regularly before the age of 16 has been shown to affect cognitive function tests much more significantly than those who started smoking in their later teenage years.

Studies have shown these bullets to be true, and this generation’s teenagers want (in general) good brains to help them get into good schools.

We want to hear your opinions on these two efforts. Do you think teenagers are really lab rats if they use cannabis? Do you think one of these efforts is more or less effective, or more or less true? Find us on Facebook or in the Comment section below!


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