Colorado began marijuana prevention efforts aimed at youth immediately following marijuana legalization. Yet when it came time to engage those most at risk, they quickly realized that mainstream tactics were not going to cut it.
Since 2014 we have worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment implementing a large marijuana youth prevention campaign. Our work began with solid research to explore attitudes and opinions around legalization. We then tested creative concepts among Colorado’s parents.
Result in hand, using a community-based approach towards prevention, we have partnered with school districts across the state to provide English and Spanish workshops for teachers, counselors, parents and other trusted adults on how to talk to youth about retail marijuana and prevent its use.
Key to our success has been recruiting a large group of parents to become ambassadors and advocates for this program in their communities.
Our team has also been working with the LGBTQ community to develop and implement an outreach initiative for LGBTQ youth, who are at disproportionately higher risk of marijuana use.
To reach our audience, two statewide mobile education platforms in English and Spanish were developed. This has allowed us to provide continuous resources from marijuana health effects to youth depression. Our team sends educational messages each week, coupled with links to extra information and even illustrative videos.