Online Program

Promoting Health through New Marijuana Policies: Impact of Mass Reach Media to Educate Coloradans on Safe, Legal and Responsible Marijuana Use

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Alison Maffey, MSW, Prevention Services Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is funded through marijuana sales taxes to educate Colorado residents about safe, legal and responsible use of retail marijuana by implementing public awareness campaigns on the marijuana laws, and prevention campaigns on the health effects and considerations for high risk populations. CDPHE created a web-portal linking to information from each state agency. CDPHE also worked to integrate messaging across state and local agencies using the guidance from SAMHSA on effective community marijuana prevention strategies in order to positively impact marijuana knowledge, perceptions of risk and behaviors among Colorado residents.

CDPHE contracted with an evaluator to implement a three-year evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of CDPHE’s retail marijuana education campaigns to:

  • Increase knowledge of the retail marijuana laws and the health impacts of marijuana use, using the literature reviews from the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee.
  • Increase perceptions of risk for marijuana use while pregnant/breastfeeding, underage use, over-consumption, or secondhand marijuana smoke exposure.
  • Increase self-reported prevention behaviors, specifically among marijuana users, parents and health care providers:
  • Link the campaign awareness to changes in the above knowledge, perceptions and behaviors.

Baseline assessments were completed prior to the campaign launch in January, 2015. Follow-up assessment will occur June, 2015. All data from the baseline and follow-up assessments will be analyzed and reported to the Colorado General Assembly on November 1, 2015, in time to present the final data analysis on campaign effectiveness at this conference.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the process used in Colorado to educate Colorado residents and visitors on the parameters of safe, legal and responsible retail marijuana use. Describe changes in knowledge of retail marijuana laws and health effects, changes in perceptions of risk, and changes in harm reduction behaviors among a sample of Colorado residents as a result of statewide education efforts.

Keyword(s): Drug Abuse Prevention and Safety, Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Retail Marijuana Education Program, including campaigns and evaluation, since its inception.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.