Marijuana Edibles Billboard About Education, Not Legislature, Advocate Says

Page 2 of 3

As we reported last month, a Colorado health department official argued that the working group, made up of cannabis opponents, pot industry reps, law enforcement types and more, should ban almost all pot edibles.

This suggestion received significant push-back from many group members, and in the end, no consensus was reached. Instead, the group plans to submit much of its work product to the legislature, which is expected to tackle the issue again during the session that begins in January.

Against this backdrop, the MPP has unveiled its latest billboard on the pot-edibles topic:

Is the billboard, located at 153 Kalamath Street, the MPP's way of telling legislators that education, not unnecessary and expensive new packaging regulations, is the best way to keep pot edibles out of children's hands? Tvert responds to that question with an emphatic "no."

According to Tvert, that approach "never crossed my mind remotely. The billboard is about telling parents to be responsible and keep marijuana locked up and out of reach, so their kids don't get their hands on it."

This theme is at the heart of the website, as well as a billboard from September that addressed pot-edibles safety by way of a more obvious subtext: It referenced New York Times columnist Maureen O'Dowd's negative experience with edibles earlier this year. Here's a look at that design.

The MPP has also put out other images intended to educate the public about marijuana, as opposed to demonizing the substance, as has been typical in years past. We've included some of them below.

"There have been concerns expressed that young people may get their hands on their parents' marijuana," Tvert acknowledges, "and we need to raise awareness and encourage parents to take steps to prevent that. We hear a lot of people decrying marijuana products for resembling non-marijuana products, but nobody has actually been encouraging adults to take action and keep this in mind.

"Simply highlighting the resemblance of marijuana candy and non-marijuana candy does little to keep it out of the hands of young people. But actually making parents think about the need to keep it out of reach, no one's doing that for some reason, despite these concerns being expressed. It's another example of how sensible marijuana education has been lacking."

Not that Tvert rejects any and all packaging tweaks the legislature might offer. "We need to have reasonable regulations that maximize safety surrounding these products," he notes. "But we also need to be educating the public about its role in this issue. Whether it's marijuana or alcohol or cleaning products or pots of boiling water, we need to make parents think about the need to keep them out of the reach of children."

Continue for more images from the education campaign.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts