New Report Recommends Tips for Successful Cannabis-Impaired Driving Campaigns

The Governor Road Safety Association (GHSA) commissioned a report on a cannabis and driving education campaign on 26 July. GHSA partnered with the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving to create a playbook written specifically for the State Highway Safety Office (SHSO).

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor’s Road Safety Association, said: playbook Here’s the latest on cannabis legalization, overall consumer acceptance of cannabis, and more. “As legal cannabis use becomes more widespread in the United States, drivers need to be aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis,” Adkins said. “But if the message is outdated, irrelevant to cannabis consumers, or offensive, it will not be heard. , provides playbooks to help create messages that encourage people to refrain from driving for their own safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.”

A report called “”Cannabis Consumers and Safe Driving: A Responsible Use Message‘, builds on a variety of research and interviews and expands on the unpublished 2021 Cannabis Regulators Association white paper, stating that ‘strengthening safety partnerships and increasing the effectiveness of outreach and education on cannabis use and driving can Additional Strategies and Recommendations for Possible Promising Practices”. “

According to the report, before the pandemic, about 21% of drivers involved in fatal car crashes had THC in their systems. During the pandemic, this percentage he rose to 33% (for comparison, only 29% of people had alcohol in their system). In a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Culture Index, drivers view alcohol and cannabis harm differently. When asked about drunk driving, 95% said it was “very or very dangerous”. When asked the same question about cannabis, only 69% gave the same answer.

The GHSA report wrote that further education is key to promoting safe driving and enforcement. We reviewed education campaigns conducted in Colorado and Washington, the first states to legalize cannabis. It also highlights current education efforts learned from previous campaigns, including Connecticut’s “simple and non-judgmental” message advertised on social media channels, radio, television, billboards, bus panels, and print. I was. Cannabis was legalized in Connecticut on July 1, 2021, but retail sales won’t begin until later this year. But the report also examines education campaigns in Wyoming, where cannabis is still illegal.

After reviewing the content, the report addresses “promising practices” the authors believe will help develop educational campaigns, such as partnering with cannabis industry groups, receiving dedicated funding, and using certain language in campaign messages. doing.

More specifically, the report’s five key recommendations explore campaign success based on the examples presented.

First, it Recommendation Working with local legislators to raise funds from cannabis sales tax revenues. Second, we strongly encourage partnering with various cannabis groups with a common goal of consumer safety. “By working together and conducting supportive educational campaigns, we can reflect the desire of all partners to keep cannabis consumers safe,” the report explains.

Third, the report also discusses the importance of campaign messengers. Government leaders and institutions are “generally not a good choice” so it is essential to select a respected individual who is part of the cannabis community to get the point across. Your choice of words can also contribute to the success of your campaign and maintain your credibility. For example, you can avoid archaic terms such as pot and weed, or use “consumer” instead of “user”.

Finally, the report states that campaign messages should be chosen with care and respect. “Insulting or judging the target audience rarely improves message reception, it makes people feel bad, and the message is lost. use of cannabis as such should be the main focus of information campaigns,” the report explains. effective for certain target audiences. Prescriptive choices) can have a greater impact on behavior change than the usual “never do”. do messaging.

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