A new ganja game show is making headlines, and not for the obvious reasons you may think: this marijuana-themed program is for kids.
Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses came up with the idea after research showed previous drug awareness programs like D.A.R.E. or Just Say No aren’t working that well. This new incarnation, “Weeded Out,” educates kids about marijuana in a positive gameshow format.
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“We feel like that whole D.A.R.E. campaign, and the Just Say No campaign used scare tactics that didn’t work. We saw that that sort of negative messaging and fear tactics do not work for this group. Youth want to be talked to like adults—they don’t want to be lectured,” director Ashley Kilroy told the Denverite.
The game show is not the end of this type of educational work for the department. Kilroy said the questions presented in the show will be available on game cards and used as a “classroom in a box” for kids in public schools. Eric Escudero, communications director at the Department of Excise and Licenses, says this educational piece is a critical aspect of the how the city wants to present their messaging about marijuana.
The idea behind the program is to engage kids to learn more about marijuana, and can ask either parents or instructors more about how marijuana affects your body and why it’s used as medicine. If parents or children don’t understand or agree with some of the information presented, they’re also empowered to follow up and not feel left out of the process.
“The facts that we’re giving them have been vetted,” Kilroy said. “Kids can go look at that data. We want to drive them to the research. Getting them to take that responsibility for their health will have a much longer lasting impact.”
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You can learn more about “Weeded Out” and the program’s campaigns here.