Colorado Ad Campaign Warns Teens About Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

A new ad campaign warns teenagers in Colorado about the long-term effects of marijuana use. The “Don’t Be a Lab Rat” campaign targets 12- to 15-year-olds, Reuters reports.

The ads state that the long-term effects of marijuana are not yet fully understood, and warn teens that if they use marijuana they are essentially volunteering as subjects of research about the drug’s effects. In Colorado and Washington state, the possession and recreational use of small amounts of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older.

The ads will air on television, online and in movie theaters, the article notes. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment will also set up life-size “Lab Rat Cages” at middle schools and high schools, concert venues, skate parks and other locations that teens frequently visit.

“While much still needs to be learned about the effect marijuana has on the brain, enough information is available to cause concern in terms of the negative effects marijuana can have on the developing brains of teenagers,” Dr. Larry Wolk, the department’s executive director and chief medical officer, said in a news release. “The core premise of the ‘Don’t Be a Lab Rat’ campaign acknowledges that more research is necessary, but it also poses the question of whether or not teens should risk the potential negative effects of using marijuana.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper noted a recent survey found the percentage of high school students who think using marijuana poses risks for their health has decreased. “We have a civic and public health obligation to do everything we can to make our children aware that there are risks for teens when they use marijuana,” he said. “This campaign is designed to grab the attention of teens and their parents, and provide them with the facts to have an informed discussion and make informed choices.”

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    Debby Jo Metsker

    August 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    There may not be tons of research but there is enough to know it is dangerous. Especially for young people! So Josh bingo. It is not hard to find true research if you wish to get the truth. The problem is that many users don’t want the truth but instead can’t get natural “highs” of life and have to have a drug to feel good. I talk to kids about all the things they can do to feel good without drugs!

    If you can find people who are honest …you could also talk to adults who are now getting help for dependence problems because they started using as teens. They will tell you the true cost and it is not all dollars & cents.

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    Jose G. Carreon

    August 12, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    “Reefer Madness” was the extreme left, scare tactics not based on any truth much less scientific research and ” It is natural made by God and is harmless” is the extreme right also
    with no medical scientific research to back this claim up. We have enough research to know that Marijuana is not harmless and does the brain damage ex specially the young not fully undeveloped brain of anyone under 25. How much damage? We will soon find out. Unfortunately it will be at the expense of the young adults and teenagers of Colorado and the state of Washington.

    Parents read up and every scientific article that you can get your hands on and sit your young son or daughter down for a nice talk. Remind them that this are long term damages that could occur. Tell them that they will not see it among their friends right now but later in life. “Marijuana is like the Rip Tide of life, you do not see the damage in the surface (friends) nor feel it ( in the mind or body) until it is usually to late”.. My quote.

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