Despite laws banning cannabis advertising to teenagers, young people have said in surveys that they still see a lot of positive information about cannabis through social media.
Washington State University researchers found that these messages were linked to youth intentions to use cannabis and, for college students, to actual use. Anti-cannabis messages also had the effect of reducing intentions to use, but younger people found these types of messages less important.
“Young people, in particular, have grown up with information about cannabis compared to previous generations,” said Jessica Willoughby, first author of the study published in the journal Health Communication and assistant professor at the Murrow College of Communication and WSU said. “We found that they saw positive information about cannabis use and low risk.”
For this study, researchers surveyed 350 teenagers and 966 college students from across Washington state, where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2012.
States have regulations to prevent the promotion of cannabis to children, such as banning the use of cartoons or celebrities for teenagers. However, this does not prevent individuals from sharing information about cannabis on social media.
Of the study participants, the majority, more than 80%, said they had seen pro-cannabis messages on social media, such as ads about getting high or talking about marijuana not bad. Most pro-cannabis articles come from celebrities or music.
Parents may not realize that if their child uses a social media site, be it Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, they will see posts about cannabis. It’s just the truth. This means that we need to start training in schools at an early age. At the very least, middle and high school health classes should talk about cannabis and how it can harm the developing brain. ” Positive Information About Cannabis Through Social Media is Linked to Youth Goals
Stacey Hust, author, professor at WSU’s Murrow College of Communication
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Study participants also reported seeing some anti-cannabis messages, such as that cannabis can be harmful or that smoking is disgusting or losers, but they did not see these types of messages less. more time than pro-cannabis messages.
Young people, teenagers and students, who reported that they saw a high level of positive information may indicate the intention to use cannabis. Students were also asked about actual use and there was a positive correlation between exposure to pro-cannabis messages and use for this group.
The good news is that seeing the anti-cannabis message has some effect, though. Among young people who believe that using cannabis can have negative effects, such as damaging their brains or doing worse at school, seeing anti-cannabis messages seems to reduce intentions 온라인카지노사이트 they use it.
The researchers said that this study points to a good area for parents and counselors to focus on. “Prevention efforts can have an impact,” Willoughby said. “As young people see more positive cannabis content, it is useful to list more content that highlights the risks, especially for young people like them.”
This study was funded by Washington State Initiative Measure 502 which taxes the production and sale of marijuana.