State health officials are proud of Colorado for knowing our way around a joint, and the potential health risks they pose.
That's according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Results from a recent evaluation show Colorado’s marijuana public education efforts are working: more people know about pot laws, more parents say they plan to talk to their kids about weed risks and -- this is verbatim -- "more young people know that using marijuana makes it harder to complete the tasks that help them reach their goals."
It also boasts that most young women know the danger of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“We’re encouraged by the early success of Colorado’s marijuana education efforts,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer CDPHE. “We will continue to work with other state agencies, local public health, the marijuana industry and community groups to ensure the safe, legal and responsible use of marijuana.”
When voters approved the legalization of retail marijuana in November 2012, the legislature charged CDPHE with developing prevention programs for youth use and educating Coloradans on the health effects of pot.
A new report published by the department highlights ongoing evaluation of these efforts and shows the changes in attitudes, knowledge and perceptions about marijuana laws and health effects.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Colorado adults familiar with the health department’s Good to Know campaign were 2.5 times more likely to know key marijuana laws, with marijuana users more knowledgeable than nonusers.
- The number of those who knew the risks of driving after using marijuana increased 23 percent and those who realized daily use could impair memory increased 26 percent.
- Today, three of four Spanish-speaking adults perceive high risk on all known health effects associated with marijuana use.
- The department’s ongoing evaluation shows the number of adults prepared to talk to their children about the risks of using marijuana increased 12 percent since the campaign began.
- Young people familiar with the Protect What’s Next youth prevention campaign were more likely to agree that marijuana made it harder to think clearly and complete tasks.
- Today, nine of 10 of these women agree there are some risks of using marijuana during pregnancy.
Wolk said there’s more work to do. The report shows marijuana users are much less likely to see the potential for addiction than nonusers. Also, parents who use marijuana are less likely to believe in the health risks of adolescent use.