Monday, October 13, 2014

“Lab Rat” Campaign Warning Teens About Marijuana Use Gets Mixed Reviews
October 9th, 2014/

A campaign to warn young people about the dangers of marijuana, which likens those who use the drug to laboratory animals, is getting mixed reviews, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The “Don’t Be A Lab Rat” campaign, launched in August, includes three human-size cages with signs such as, “Does Marijuana really cause schizophrenia in teenagers? Smoke and find out.” Another sign says, “Subjects needed. Must be a teenager. Must smoke weed. Must have 8 IQ points to spare.” The campaign also includes ads on television, online and in movie theaters.

Some young people dismiss the campaign as a scare tactic, and the effort has been mocked by the legal marijuana industry, the article notes. U.S. Representative Jared Polis of Boulder called the campaign “bizarre.” Officials in Boulder declined an offer from the state to erect a cage, saying community members did not think it was an appropriate way to deliver marijuana education.

Boulder’s school district also declined the offer of a cage. “There is some communication in the campaign about possible medical effects, and the reality is that there is a lot of research to be done,” said Bruce Messinger, Boulder Valley School District Superintendent. “We like to deal with what we know to be true.”

Larry Wolk, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the campaign is having the intended effect of starting a conversation about marijuana’s effects. “Whether you hate it or love it, or are somewhere in between, at least you have people talking about it,” he said.

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