A $2 million dollar campaign which was commissioned by Governor Hickenlooper’s office targeted teens between the ages of 12-15 to think twice before experimenting with marijuana -- just because it’s legal. The core meaning of this campaign, which was created by Denver-based Sukle Advertising and Design, is to remind kids they are the human experiment. However, what is the purpose of targeting children ages 12-15 when it’s now legal purchase marijuana at the age of 21?
The campaigns mission is to convince the youth that young children's’ developing brains have not had long term scientific studies to prove that consuming marijuana at a young age won’t have future negative effects, and thus the young human is a lab rat. But no where in this campaign does it explicitly try to educate kids that recreation pot is for those 21-years or older, or for those who hold a medical marijuana card. No-- it only targets unknown possibilities. While the intentions are good, others believe it missed being sensitive in some major areas like: like those who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness, people who use medical marijuana, and those who legally purchase and use pot according to the law.
The Daily Camera news reported Sunday that Superintendent Bruce Messinger, of BVSD sent an email stating, "No BVSD school campus will be made available for the temporary siting of the 'rat cage' or distribution of campaign materials." A spokesman for the school district said they were concerned that students won’t have the same perspective as adults might on this marketing campaign. Messinger said the no-go could lead children to stigmatizing those who may have use pot for medicinal reasons.
Shaw Coleman, a marijuana lobbyist for Boulder said since 2009, the number of teens using marijuana in Colorado has gone down 4 percent. The funds have been received by various foundations, with multiple support from the City and County of Denver, to run the "Don't Be a Lab Rat" marijuana campaign.