Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced the launch of a new state-sponsored education campaign designed “to promote responsible cannabis use by adults.”
The state legalized recreational marijuana use for adults last year when Lamont signed a bill into law. Adults aged 21 and older can now legally possess small amounts of marijuana, and Connecticut officials have said that legal weed sales could start by the end of this year.
In the meantime, the state wants would-be customers to know the ropes before entering an era of legalization.
Lamont’s office said on Tuesday that the education campaign “contains a collection of materials that cover how to safely store and dispose of cannabis and cannabis waste, and what to do in case someone, such as a child or pet, accidently ingests cannabis.”
The materials include “videos, brochures, flyers, and social media graphics,” the governor’s office said, and they are “available for anyone to use and can be downloaded for free on the state’s adult-use cannabis website at ct.gov/cannabis.”
“Protecting public health and safety includes providing people with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions to keep their families safe,” Lamont, a Democrat, said in a press release announcing the campaign. “We’re working to educate the public about the steps they can take to protect themselves and their families from accidental ingestion and over-consumption. We encourage adults who choose to use these products to do so responsibly.”
The campaign is similar to efforts undertaken by other states that have legalized cannabis for adults. In New York, which also legalized weed last year and is currently preparing for the launch of its own regulated marijuana market, subway advertisements and billboards went up in the spring as part of the state’s “Cannabis Conversations” campaign.
Similar to the program launched Tuesday in neighboring Connecticut, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said the PSA campaign would “inform the public on the state’s Cannabis Law, including who can consume, where to consume, and how to consume safely,” and “provide parents and caregivers with tools to protect youth, remind New Yorkers of the risks of driving while impaired by cannabis, and other messages to help keep New Yorkers safe and healthy as the new industry develops.”
“With the ‘Cannabis Conversations’ campaign, we’re following through on our commitment to provide New Yorkers with the information they need to safely navigate the new Cannabis Law,” Hochul said in a statement at the time. “Education is the best tool to keep New Yorkers healthy as we continue to ramp up this safe, inclusive, and equitable industry.”
Lamont’s office said the materials for Connecticut’s education campaign “were created by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services,” and “are encouraged to be used by cannabis and non-cannabis business owners, medical facilities, community health organizations, and others who would like to help promote safe and responsible cannabis practices in their communities.”
Tuesday’s launch of the campaign is also apparently only the first step.
Lamont’s office says that “the Department of Consumer Protection plans on adding more content to the campaign that concern other health and safety topics related to cannabis, including responsible use, where consumption is permitted, and how to read and understand cannabis product labels,” and that in the fall, “the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will launch a multimedia campaign to educate the public about state laws related to cannabis.”
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