In the past, law enforcement and educators have made many questionable attempts in trying to educate youths about cannabis. The most recent evidence of this effort is seen in Los Angeles, California, where a rap video featuring teenagers calls out teen cannabis consumption.
Part I has to been seen to be believed. Watch it here.
According to CBS Local, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health made the video as part of a public health campaign to dissuade teenagers from consuming cannabis. This was reportedly deemed necessary because of the amount of teenagers in Los Angeles County who choose to consume cannabis.
Known as the “Bigger Choices” campaign, the initiative focuses on getting teenagers to realize that cannabis might be harmful to their developing minds. A 2017 study of 12 to 17-year-olds in the area revealed that 26 percent of teens surveyed have consumed cannabis at least once, 72 percent have consumed cannabis with friends and 49 percent have gone to school under the influence.
“I’m inspired by these young leaders who have taken the initiative to express to their peers just how important it is to avoid marijuana and make bigger and better decisions for their health and their future,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger told CBS Local.
While it’s definitely true that consuming cannabis recreationally isn’t a wise choice for young people under age 21, the idea that legalization is going to push teens further towards consumption is misleading. Teen cannabis consumption has dropped in Colorado since legalization, and recent studies reveal that legalization does not lead to teen consumption. Also, there is still very little data on how cannabis really does affect teens. Although experimenting with cannabis at a young age isn’t advisable, a recent study reveals that cannabis has less impact on youth cognition than previously believed. As legalization changes the landscape of cannabis, the rhetoric around youth education will have to change as well.