The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has launched two new marijuana education campaigns to try to keep children away from pot. One of the campaigns focuses on new mothers who risk the health of their babies by using marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The other is designed to reach trusted adults who can influence a young person’s decision to not use marijuana.
“Parents carry the responsibility for the health of their children from infancy to adulthood,” Dr. Larry Wolk, health department executive director and chief medical officer said in a statement.
Wolk added, “We’re here to help new moms understand the risk of using marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and to guide parents who want to talk to their kids about how marijuana use can get in the way of achieving their dreams.”
The trusted adults campaign is already underway. The pregnancy and breastfeeding campaign is set to launch on Monday. They are in addition to two other campaigns already underway. The efforts are part of the health department’s new “Responsibility Grows Here” education effort that targets specific audiences with their preferred media.
“Responsibility Grows Here builds on the success of our previous campaigns to focus our educational efforts on preventing young people and new moms from using marijuana and making sure those Coloradans who choose to use marijuana use it legally, safely and responsibly,” said Wolk.
The new moms campaign includes recent research that can “bust the popular myth that marijuana use is safe for mother and baby because it’s natural and legal,” says the health department.
It indicates there is no safe level of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. THC passes from mother to baby. It has been shown the health department says, that it can have lasting effects on lifelong health and learning. Research shows that females ages 15-24 are twice as likely to use marijuana as women ages 35 and older.
The overall campaign has tips on how trusted adults can start a conversation about marijuana; listen to the concerns of their children; and share information about the health and legal consequences of underage marijuana use. It also provides tips on discussing how marijuana use can get in the way of finishing school, building a career or pursuing other life goals. Health department surveys show young people with parents who feel marijuana use is wrong are four times less likely to use it. Those young people who have family rules about marijuana use, parents they can talk to and supportive teachers are much less likely to use marijuana.