Aug 27, 2014 8:21 PM by Kelsey Kennedy

Pueblo Considers Launching "Don't be a Lab Rat" Campaign

"Don't be a Lab Rat." It's a bold new campaign Pueblo is considering in an effort to educate teens on the effects of marijuana on the body.

The campaign admits researchers are far from knowing all there is to know about the effects of marijuana on a growing brain. They hope that fact will deter teens from using pot.

Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods says there is enough research to launch a factual campaign. She pitched the campaign to the board of health on Wednesday, citing research from the New England Journal of Medicine. She says preliminary research shows pot can alter growing brains.

"It could very well affect the ability to think, concentrate, make decisions, and lower IQ," she says.

Members of the board agree that an educational campaign is needed. Michael J. Nerenberg, M.D. spoke up to caution it should be evidence based.

"If we come out with nonsense with early, we'll turn people off and lose all of our credibility," he says.

Nerenberg knows gaining credibility with teenagers can be challenging, but agrees with the fundamentals of the campaign.

"There's not a lot of real information out there about it," he says. "It hasn't been well studied because it was illegal to do that. So we don't know."

Nevin-Woods proposed hiring a part-time position to help with education.

"We're hoping that the county will fund that halftime position from some of the tax money that they are receiving," she said.

Nevin-Woods also pointed out that educational campaigns about tobacco have been funded by tobacco taxes. She believes marijuana taxes should be put to the same use.



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