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4/20 Day -- the celebration of marijuana that occurs every year on April 20 -- gets more popular every year. And while you probably haven't heard too much about it, your kids likely have.
Axar.az reports citing BBC.
That's because 4/20 awareness spreads mostly on the sites and apps that attract tweens and teens, such as Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and other social media. Even mainstream companies including Wingstop, Lyft, Ben & Jerry's, Denny's and Burger King use the day to promote their brands not on TV or Facebook (where parents are), but on platforms with a younger following. If you're looking for evidence of the virality of 4/20 Day, do a search on the name and associated hashtags in apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and check out the feeds of the social media influencers who use the moniker to elevate their personal brand.
However you feel about grown-ups using marijuana, you probably don't want companies piggybacking on the pot to make kids think they're cool. It's worth repeating: Marijuana remains illegal for kids and has proven risks to developing brains. But try getting your kids to listen when their feeds are filling up with references to 4/20. Consider these from years past: "It's high time for some Pizza Rolls" (Totino's); "Sometimes you need a huge bowl to get you through the day" (Chipotle); and "Spicy chicken nuggets are here. just in time for 4/20. how are you firing up?" (Burger King).
How to help kids dodge cigarette, vaping and pot marketing
It's no surprise that experts believe that marijuana use among teens is more widespread than alcohol use. In Colorado, marijuana-related emergency room visits by teens are on the rise. Promoting 4/20 Day may not be the reason for this trend -- but it isn't helping.
Raising drug-free kids in an era of legalization, widespread acceptance, and overt marketing of marijuana is one of the biggest challenges of parenting today. Attitudes are changing, as evidenced by big-name brands capitalizing on the shift. But you can't laugh it off. Normalizing pot use among kids -- which is what happens when brands hitch their wagons to 4/20 -- poses real health risks to kids. You can lecture about how bad pot is for growing brains and try to get kids to wait as long as possible to try it -- and that may work. But also consider helping kids think critically about the content they see online. Asking questions and seeing where they lead may make 4/20 and the brands that support it not look so groovy after all.
2019.04.19 / 17:51