Reaching Younger Weed Smokers
Researchers at Washington University (in St. Louis MO) spent almost a year analyzing tweets about marijuana use and concluded that a new generation of marijuana users are being influenced by trendy pop culture icons like Sponge Bob. Now you may be saying Sponge Bob has nothing to do with smoking weed, however this is not your kids Sponge bob but a satirical take on the character as a weed smoker.
Of course Sponge bob is not the only iconic kids character being used to promote the pleasure of “the herb.” Other characters like Woody from Toy Story seem to attract influential young minds that have previously been off limits when it’s come to marketing weed. However times are changing and so are Marijuana marketers that see a new segment of society just ripe for the picking.
Thousands of tweets were analyzed from the popular Twitter account @stillblazingtho. Having over a million followers ( including some celebrity ones) and using humorous images of iconic characters made the @stillblazingtho an easy account to choose for the research team to analyze.
What the researchers found is that many of the followers tweeting @stillblazingtho is that most of the followers there are under the age of 19 which means very impressionable minds are being hit with weed rocks. One of the reasons for this study was to determine why more than 50% favor legalizing marijuana and 60% of high school students don’t believe there are any health risks at all from smoking a blunt.
With two states legalizing casual use of weed and a growing acceptance of it as being risk free, it’s important to know the dangerous of misuse and what’s driving this revolution of puff puff pass pass. And even thought the evidence is not conclusive that using funny memes on twitter cause increased use of pot, it can’t be so easily dismissed either. The lead researcher on the analyst team, (Dr. Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg) has this to say:
“With the study we can’t say that media messages then led to Marijuana use behaviors. But if we look at the studies that have been done that have examined traditional media outlets like television, radio, billboards, magazines, there have been longitudinal studies that have shown that media messages are influential on substance use, behaviors and patterns.” (JULY RFT 2014)