The Rise of Legal Marijuana Forces a Shift from “Say No” to “Delay”

Marijuana POBIn California, the year kicked off with long queues of eager customers waiting in the dark; outside medical cannabis dispensaries for their “budtenders” to open doors and allow them to start shopping when the clock ticks midnight.

And this year, the effect has gone far beyond the marijuana cash register. We have all come across the ads or heard the rumor— even minors have, yet the drug remains illegal for under 21s.

“As you leave SFO [San Francisco] airport, you see prominent billboards for Eaze [a surfacing weed delivery service] with the message ‘Marijuana is here,’” says Danielle Ramo, an Adolescent Drug Use psychologist from the University of California-San Francisco. “Did parents expect to see so many images of weed all over?”

With the surfacing of legal recreational cannabis imminent in more American states, drug prevention education has evolved significantly with most schools dropping the archaic “Just Say No” slogan for an approach that may be more effective for a Marijuana POB era where weed is readily accessible. This new strategy emphasizes decision-making and critical thinking rather than insisting on abstinence.

One tactic they are adopting is the Being Adept curriculum. It is a proof-based course that has been in use by over 20 schools in San Francisco. This method along with other new-era drug education skills is based on decades of painstaking effectiveness research and current teaching practices.

The egg in a frying pan advert accompanied with the words “This is your brain on drugs,“ is no longer useful in drug education campaigns.

According to Ramo, “These are scare tactics are no longer effective. Today, school-based prevention is taking a very different mindset.”

In other words, more focus is now on facts, and not fear. What’s more, educators have realized that the conspicuously simplistic slogans like “Just say no” are no longer efficient. It is no wonder teachers are now urging students to check up data, contemplate on motives, talk about risks and think about on their goals and values.

The bottom line

Teachers are now expected to give engaging illustrations of the perceived dangerous effects of the drugs on the body while encouraging participation and allowing facts to unfold to the students. This means you are not merely going to tell the adolescent that his or her brain will resemble a frying egg when on drugs but you will give a demonstration of what takes place in the brain when someone is on drugs.


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