The Times Union
New York’s cannabis regulators kicked off public education efforts on Monday, focusing the first phase of a statewide media campaign on four messages: consumption of marijuana outside of the medical program is legal only for adults; those who choose to partake should smoke away from others; keep cannabis out of reach of children and pets; and refrain from driving while high.
Presenters played campaign segments at Monday’s launch event, which was hosted by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) with speakers from the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and the state Department of Health. While the ads contain only simplified directions in a typical public service tone, event speakers elaborated on the rationale behind the messages.
We’ve got 100 years of stigma to undo, to reeducate the state of New York on what cannabis is, how it can be used, how it can benefit their lives, but also the risks where they exist,” Alexander said.
Allan Clear, who works in drug-user health for the state health department, said the campaign’s messages should be useful for cannabis consumers as well as those concerned for their family or friends.
“Whether you favored legalization or not, I think we can all agree, it’s important to ensure that New Yorkers have fact-based information,” Clear said, noting that research will be key as the state begins to “leave criminalization behind us and really focus on improving public health outcomes.”