Colorado is rolling out an ad campaign involving human-sized rat cages to raise awareness about the effects of marijuana on young people.
“There’s a lot of noise here in Colorado,” said Mike Sukle, whose advertising firm created the campaign for Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) office. “It was a tricky campaign to come together.”
The campaign involves human-sized rat cages that will be displayed around Denver at a skate park, a public library, and other locations. There will also be a mobile cage that will be used outside Rockies games and concert venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater.
The hope, Sukle said, is to educate kids on studies that show the dangers of marijuana on developing brains. Don’t be a lab rat, the signs on the cage read.
The firm conducted a statewide survey of Coloradans ages 12 to 20 to determine perceptions, and the results were varied, particularly by age.
“There’s a lot of confusion,” Sukle said. “There are kids who had no exposure to it. They had exaggerated views. Then they get to high school and they see these horrible things aren’t coming true.”
Some younger respondents viewed marijuana as a potentially lethal drug, Suckle said, while older teenagers sometimes had more relaxed views and either knew people who used marijuana or used it themselves.
“Some of them see it as Chipotle,” he said. “It’s organic, it’s good for you.”
Studies show teen marijuana use can lead to schizophrenia, permanant IQ loss, and stunted brain growth, the Web site for the campaign, Don’t Be A Lab Rat, says.
The campaign will also include three ads that will play before movies and a television spot.