DETROIT – A new anti-marijuana campaign has started popping up around Michigan, right after the legalization of recreational pot.
The ad shows what is supposed to be what a teenager will look like 10 years in the future if they keep using marijuana. While it is designed to discourage teens from smoking pot, some people believe it is not the right way to convey that message.
Robin Schneider, the executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, said the ad could send a bad message about body image.
“I really think we need to be careful when using examples that we don’t make kids feel bad for being overweight,” she said. “This is serious and we need to work together to protect our youth, but this is just not the way to go about doing it and it was done in very poor taste.”
Schneider also pointed out that some people are prescribed cannabis for medical conditions and diseases, such as cancer.
The state defends the ad with an article by the American Medical Association that says those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and into adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between 13 and 38.
Marijuana advocates want officials to stop running the ad.
The state issued the following statement in response:
“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign about the well-documented harmful effects of youth use of marijuana in December 2019. It is directed at ages 14-21 and is slated to run on social media, popular online video and audio channels and video streaming services.
An article in the American Medical Association states that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38; an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence.
The campaign, Future Self, paints the picture of a youth’s possible life when they become adults if they are using marijuana during their formative years. This age group was identified as being vulnerable to health risks associated with marijuana use. The recent legalization of adult use marijuana can create the perception for adolescents that it doesn’t pose risks, however, the risks of marijuana use are much higher for youth than adults as their brains are still developing.”