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  • Post Time Posted March 21, 2019
Earlier this week, public health researchers in Colorado released a report detailing the results of a youth cannabis education and prevention campaign called High Costs. Researchers measured the efficacy of that campaign with a survey. The survey reached more than 55,000 teen respondents, including 500 from the city of Denver. According to the survey, teen cannabis consumption isn’t just dropping in Colorado, it’s also falling below the national average for the very first time.

The report’s “respondent snapshot” reveals that 59% of Colorado teens have never consumed cannabis. An additional 22% of teens have only consumed cannabis once or twice. Another 8% consume cannabis once a month or less. In other words- just 10% of Colorado teens use cannabis more than once a month. That means 81% of teens in Colorado don’t consume cannabis with any regularity, have only tried it or have never tried it at all. The national average for teen’s who don’t use cannabis hovers around 4 out of 5.

Colorado’s cannabis laws earmark a portion of cannabis tax revenue for drug awareness and outreach programs for young people. The city of Denver, for example, has spent millions on its High Costs campaign. And based on its new report, High Costs says it’s money well spent. In addition to surveying teens on their cannabis consumption habits, High Costs also polled respondents about their familiarity with High Costs’ campaign materials. 78% of Denver teens reported that they were familiar with the campaign. And of those, 75% said High Costs’ messaging discouraged them from using cannabis.

High Costs is also the organization behind the online game show, Weeded Out. Weeded Out is the country’s first cannabis education game show, and it was the focal point of High Costs’ 2018 campaign. Of the teens who watched the game show, 87% reported discussing it with family and friends. In short, High Costs is getting its message out there and the vast majority of teens who are aware of it find its content clear, educational, trustworthy and likeable.

For the rest of the nation, the effectiveness of Denver’s youth awareness and prevention campaign sends an important message. It shows that it is entirely possible for legal-weed states to safeguard youth and teens from the health and legal risks of underage cannabis consumption. Even further, it shows that smart, well-funded programs can do way more to reduce teen cannabis consumption than prohibition and harsh criminalization.

Source: https://hightimes.com/news/survey-indicates-teen-marijuana-use-colorado-lower-national-average/

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