No matter who you are talking to nowadays, if Colorado is being talked about, pot will soon come up in the conversation. Moving into the second full year of legal recreational pot has people in the state and across the country looking for ways to educate people on marijuana, especially parents.
Over 400 voters in Mesa County were given a survey this summer to get a sense for what they think about marijuana legalization. The results surprisingly showed that more parents were in support of legal pot than those without kids.
“I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that its okay to do,” said Shannon Furo.
For Furo and her family, marijuana legalization wasn’t something they thought twice about when they moved to Colorado. The subject didn’t cross their minds until after they moved to the state and heard a commercial on the radio from a new campaign in the state to educate people on pot. Furo is like many moms who want to protect their kids from growing up around pot. But there are other parent’s with opinions that differ from Furo’s
Mom Tani Lambert is under the belief that legal weed is an okay thing, because she thinks that the taboo nature of pot makes the idea of trying it more appealing to younger ones.
“As a parent, if kids don’t look at it as a big thing then they’re not going to be as compelled to try and do it behind your back,” Lambert said.
Marijuana legalization in Mesa County failed by a very narrow margin. The survey of voters showed that 46% of people had thought legalization was a good idea, with only 1% more thinking it was a bad one.
“That was concerning to us- about what’s the message being sent down to the kids and are they being told that this is a big deal, that this is important decision to make, ” said Dan Rubinstein with the District Attorney’s office.
Anti-pot advocates make that point that children pickup on what adults are talking about at a very young age. They also retain a lot of what they hear on TV and the radio.
Colorado launched a controversial campaign last year called “Don’t Be a Lab Rat”, which was focused on the uncertainty of the effects marijuana has on youth. This year the state’s program is instead focused on educating adults about responsible marijuana use, using what they are calling “relatable methods”. Some are worried about how this style of education may send the wrong message to children.
With the results from the 2014 survey of Mesa County voters, the county is now motivated to start their own campaign.
“Were working on using the state’s message a little bit but we’d like to shape our own message,” Rubenstein said. “While the numbers are pretty well split, it seems to be something that I think education may change that.”