Colorado Health Dept. Says Locals Know Their Weed

Thursday, January 25, 2018

When it comes to cannabis in Colorado, it turns out that residents know their stuff. With more dispensaries than Starbucks (in Denver, at least), Colorado’s passion for weed probably comes as no surprise. But far from the stoner stereotype, Coloradoans are knowledgeable about marijuana laws, health effects, and risks.

A new report released by the state Health Department shows that locals are better educated about marijuana than they were when it was legalized. Coloradoans weed education is partly thanks to a campaign launched by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). “Good to Know,” a public education and awareness campaign, was launched in 2015 with the aim of promoting the safe, legal, and responsible use of marijuana.

Dr. Larry Wolk, the executive director of the CDPHE, said the department’s public education approach differs from previous drug education programs like DARE. Rather than scare tactics or promoting abstinence, the “Good to Know” approach is decidedly more friendly and upbeat.

Wolk explained that “Good to Know” is “not an aversion campaign. This is really a way to educate folks without alienating folks.”

The report shows the shifts in attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions of marijuana since the beginning of retail sales. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • Among cannabis users, adults familiar with the Good to Know campaign were 2.5 times more likely be familiar with marijuana laws.
  • Current cannabis users (80 percent) have significantly higher knowledge of the laws compared to nonusers (59 percent).
  • The number of those who knew the risks of driving within 6 hours after using marijuana increased 23 percent and those who realized daily use could impair memory increased 26 percent.
  • Increased perceptions of risk (12 percent) of over-consumption of edibles.
  • Because marijuana has been shown to have negative health effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding, part of the education campaign focused on women of reproductive age. Today, nine of 10 of these women agree there are some risks of using marijuana during pregnancy.
  • The number of adults prepared to talk to their children about the risks of using marijuana increased 12 percent.