When Colorado legalized marijuana back in 2014, anti-cannabis advocates warned that soon teenagers throughout the state would be smoking pot and eventually shooting heroin. But the state has gone through great efforts to prevent that, and now the city of Denver is making even more.
Denver is launching a new anti-drug campaign called "High Costs." The outreach will include billboards and bus ads, as well as a Snapchat filter, a social media trivia game and a card game all aiming to inform teens about the dangers of abusing drugs. And to top it all of, the entire campaign is being financed by revenue generated by marijuana taxes.
“Our High Costs campaign is designed to help Denver’s youth understand the legal, educational, health and social risks that come from using marijuana underage,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “Conversations about marijuana happen everywhere, and our goal is to provide facts that are not only accurate about the risks and realities of marijuana use, but that resonate with youth across Denver.”
The research and facts being distributed for the campaign come from a series of studies and surveys conducted the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on how marijuana legalization has affected children and teens.
Of course, this isn't in response to a boom in teen marijuana use. In fact, the rate of marijuana use by teenagers in Colorado is lower than in the years prior to cannabis legalization. But it doesn't hurt to continue spreading the message, at the very least to prevent obnoxious anti-marijuana advocates from screaming that legalization is turning children into drug addicts.