Cannabis PR Pros on What They Wish They Knew About Marijuana as Teens

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Cannabis PR Pros on What They Wish They Knew About Marijuana as Teens

Written by: NisonCo Staff

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Mainstream dialogue around teenagers and cannabis is callous at best. Drug reform critics often leverage teenage drug consumption to justify prohibition and
the War on Drugs to push back against any progressive drug reform policies. Lawmakers — who are otherwise concerned with social equity — often succumb to anti-plant critical pressure and water down cannabis reform legislation. Even well-intentioned cannabis communications professionals and other industry peers can fall into this trap with delusions of cannabis exceptionalism grandeur.

There are some major concerns in the cannabis legal landscape regarding teenage cannabis consumption. For one, Black and Brown teenagers are most likely to be arrested for cannabis-related charges in states with recreational adult-use legalization enacted, proving the drug war’s school-to-prison pipeline still is alive in communities of color. Another consideration regarding teen cannabis use: many children with chronic and/or terminal illnesses need to utilize medical marijuana to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. While concerns rage about teen cannabis use, a 2020 study concludes that adult-use recreational cannabis measures don’t impact teen cannabis consumption. In fact, teen consumption even declines once cannabis is legal for adult consumption. We also know that teen cannabis consumption is trending downward overall, thanks to recently published research.


Read more about 2021 Teenage Cannabis Use on Marijuana Moment

Via The Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey


Teen cannabis consumers should be included in social equity discussions and initiatives, rather than punished for doing what they’ve always done, regardless of cannabis’ legal consumption status. Moving forward, it’s critical to push for comprehensive drug education that discusses both the benefits and risks of cannabis and other drugs, rather than an existing curriculum that relies on Reagan-era, D.A.R.E.-style fearmongering that prior generations know all too well. For more on harm reduction specifically, check out our very own Account Manager Lucas Wentworth explaining why teaching harm reduction in schools should be considered first aid in an interview with The Young Turks.

We polled the NisonCo cannabis communications team about what was missing from their cannabis educations as teens. Read on to learn what some of our advocacy marketing agency team members wished they knew about cannabis when they were younger.


What do you wish you knew about cannabis when you were a teenager?


I wish I knew about the medical benefits of cannabis. I wish I knew about Raphael Mechoulam and his groundbreaking work in Israel. I  wish I knew more about advocacy and how students can have a powerful voice if they work together.

Wilfred Maina, PR Account Coordinator


The true potency of edibles and the now commonly heard “start low and go slow.”
Kelly Ebbert, Content and Copywriter 


You can get cannabis analyzed for potency, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals/metals by many nonprofit or low-profit organizations.

 — Tori Gates, Director of Operations


Not directly about cannabis as a substance, but I wish I’d known how many covert, successful stoners I was always surrounded by without realizing. I never knew how much cannabis was a part of my family and family friends because it just wasn’t spoken about openly like alcohol or tobacco were.

Marissa Smith, Managing Editor


I wish I knew that smoking out of an indented aluminum can with holes poked in it is probably really, really bad for your health.

Matt Aragon, Researcher


What is a cannabis myth you believed as a teenager but now don’t believe?


That cannabis would make you go crazy.

Wilfred Maina, PR Account Coordinator


Cannabis being commonly laced with other substances (like Fentanyl).

Kelly Ebbert, Content and Copywriter


Holding in a hit longer will get you higher. 

Tori Gates, Director of Operations


That the only purpose cannabis serves is for smoking and getting high. In reality, the food, medical, and industrial applications of the plant are nearly limitless.

Marissa Smith, Managing Editor


I believed that smoking weed was simply just a recreational activity and existed for the purpose of getting blasted. I didn’t realize that it could be used in any sort of functional capacity, whatsoever.

Matt Aragon, Researcher


Our cannabis communications agency has roots in the grassroots cannabis reform movement. If you’re looking for an advocacy marketing agency of cannabis PR, SEO, and marketing professionals, contact NisonCo today to help your cannabis or CBD company research trends and topics, craft communications strategies, and/or secure news opportunities.

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