A new education campaign from the city of Denver will encourage young people to learn about marijuana risks.
Many young people think marijuana use “is the social norm, but that’s not actually the case,” the city said in a statement. The statement also noted that the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado survey said that 74 percent of Denver youth hadn’t used marijuana in the previous 30 days.
A more recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that marijuana use among young people had actually dropped in 2015 and 2016. The rate of usage, at 9 percent, is the lowest since 2008.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the High Costs campaign would help young people understand the legal, education, health and social risks associated with illegal marijuana use.
The campaign will feature billboards, school bus signs, fence art at Manual High School, a game show and trivia card game and Snapchat filters. The city hopes that the campaign will help young people make responsible decisions about pot, including that “being stoned is not the social norm.”
Among the risks, the city statement said, is an increased risk of depression, losing financial aid for college and addiction.
Funding for the education campaign comes from a 2013 voter-approved special sales tax. “The campaign does not try to scare youth, but rather to teach Denver’s youth about the city’s laws, about the potential harmful effects of youth marijuana use – both socially and physiologically – and to give youth a better overall understanding of marijuana as well as useful tools for avoiding it,” according to the statement.