Denver, Colorado, is rolling out a new cannabis educational initiative aimed at teens. The program is part of the city’s marijuana policy department. Packaged in an upbeat gameshow format, the program claims to give young people information on a range of different issues related to cannabis.
“Weeded Out” Game Show
The new gameshow-style program is called “Weeded Out.” And the premise is simple.
The host asks a bunch of questions about marijuana. And teens try to answer them. If you get the question wrong, you’re “weeded out.”
And if you get it right you get to advance to the next round. Eventually, the show weeds out enough contestants to arrive at nine or so final contestants.
From there, the show moves into a Jeopardy-style quiz show. Kids stand behind podiums and answer questions about marijuana.
By the end of the game, the program has covered a wide range of information. In particular, the show focuses on potential health implications of cannabis consumption, marijuana policy, and a few other related topics.
According to CBS This Morning, the show is being played out for teens throughout the city of Denver. The program is reportedly being funded by marijuana sales taxes.
Last year, Denver alone raked in almost $45 million in cannabis taxes. So far, the city has reportedly spent a little more than $3.5 million to launch and operate the new teen educational program.
Educating the Youth?
On its surface, the new program is about giving young people the information they need to help guide their decisions about consuming cannabis. In fact, Colorado’s legal cannabis framework has always allocated a portion of tax revenues to fund these types of educational programs.
Interestingly, teen consumption of cannabis has dropped in recent years following legalization. According to the city of Denver, the number of kids who say they’ve consumed weed in the last 30-days dropped from 26 percent to 21 percent over the last couple of years. Similar trends have been found in other weed-legal states.
These trends seem to dispute the common fear of weed opponents that legalization will catalyze more use among young people.
And while programs like Denver’s “Weeded Out” game seem to be contributing to these drops in teen consumption, some are also raising questions. In particular, some are concerned that this and other similar programs are give young people a skewed view of cannabis.
For example, many of these programs tend to focus heavily on the potential risks of cannabis. At the same time, they often provide very little on the potential health benefits of cannabis.
According to CBS This Morning, some teens in Denver are already beginning to question the type of information they’re getting from the city’s new program.
For example, one teen told the media outlet: “There’s obviously medical benefits to [cannabis], otherwise it wouldn’t be legal.” After hearing the information provided by the program, the student called the game show “not properly balanced.”
On the whole, many see these programs as helping young people make smart decisions about weed. At the same time, many are concerned. In particular, some wonder if these programs inadvertently cross the line between educating young people and spreading exaggerated fears.