Denver Proves Education, not Prohibition, Keeps Kids Away From Cannabis
Denver’s youth marijuana education campaign has shown some promising results in its first year.
A recent survey of over 500 teens from the Denver area showed that the city’s ‘High Costs’ educational campaign helped steer minors away from underage cannabis consumption. Of the respondents, 75 percent said the ‘High Costs’ campaign made them either not want to consume marijuana, less likely to consume marijuana or, at the very least, more likely to “think twice” about using marijuana.
The ‘High Costs’ campaign was considered trustworthy by 75 percent of respondents, and 73 percent found it likeable. However, just under half of the respondents (43 percent) also said they found the campaign “preachy or judgmental.” Of those, current cannabis consumers —and older teen males in particular — were the most likely to find ‘High Costs’ preachy and ineffective. And researchers suggest that these individuals will continue to be the most difficult audience to influence.
“This audience is going to be difficult to reach, as they’ve already decided to use and naturally are going to reject information that contradicts their decision,” the report stated. “For now, focus on the core audience of non-users and past-users, and evaluate the opportunity to target this segment again in a year.”
The city of Denver launched their ‘High Costs’ youth cannabis education campaign last year with traditional signage and a social media component. The campaign included an online quiz show called ‘Weeded Out’ and an accompanying trivia card game.
The study on the success of the campaign was conducted by the independent research firm Insight Labs, which concluded that ‘High Costs’ was largely effective and should continue to build on its online components.
The report also strengthens the argument that education, not prohibition, is what is going to help protect young people from developing unhealthy drug habits.
h/t Marijuana Moment