State health agency launches first ads on pot law

  • Fri Jun 13th, 2014 11:44am
  • News

By Jerry Cornfield

Radio ads began airing this week urging parents to talk with their children about marijuana and the new law allowing its legal use by adults.

The 30-second spots started airing Thursday and will run through the end of the month on stations from Seattle to Spokane and everywhere in between.

The state Department of Health is spending $200,000 on the ads which were produced by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and feature Dr. Leslie Walker of Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“Essentially, we’ve tried to hit nearly everywhere in the state with radio reception,” agency spokesman Donn Moyer said in an email.

The commercials are the first endeavor of what will be a continuous education and awareness campaign about Washington’s recreational marijuana law by the agency.

The voter-approved measure requires the department conduct the media campaign and earmarks a portion of marijuana tax receipts to pay for this work. But because those dollars won’t be arriving for awhile, the agency tapped existing funds to pay for the commercials now airing.

This initial campaign targets parents of teens and tweens and is built on research showing children are less likely to use drugs when their parents are involved in their lives, Moyer said.

“Now that it’s legal for those over 21 it is more important than ever to talk to your kids about the risks of marijuana,” says Dr. Leslie Walker of Seattle Children’s Hospital in the ad.

Next week, agency-purchased banner ads will begin appearing on various Internet sites. The department is spending $200,000 on these ads.