March 3, 2014 at 11:34 PM CST - Updated July 20 at 8:47 PM
MIDLAND - Marijuana is now finding its way into kids' hands at even earlier ages. While some people may think pot is not that dangerous of a drug, the Midland Coalition is fighting that concept. They're launching a year-long campaign to set the record straight, Mythbuster style.
"It's not a campaign to condemn people that smoke marijuana. It's not a campaign to condemn people that want to legalize marijuana. Our focus in this campaign and our purpose is to get good, accurate information to our community to make wise choices concerning marijuana," Coalition Campaign Director, Kim Henderson, said.
They say marijuana use has become a growing problem in the area. In 2008, just below six percent of students surveyed from Midland ISD said they smoked in the past month, more than 14 percent reportedly did in 2013. The average age of first use is just under 13.
That's the kind of information the Mystery Marijuana Campaign will be releasing for a year; and each month there will be a subtopic, starting with "Marijuana Exposed" in March.
Henderson gave the example that there are over 200 names just for pot.
"So we will be sharing all of these different names so that parents can be informed first of all and if they're hearing their children talk about a certain 'Girl Scout cookie,' which is what marijuana is referred to in some circles, they will know it's possibly not the Girl Scout cookies that are being sold by the Girl Scouts," Henderson said.
She also said there wasn't a certain target group for the campaign, especially since she recalled how many people her age began smoking marijuana 20 or 30 years ago when it was "a totally different type of marijuana" and not as "harmful" as the ones these days.
Organizers are trying to weed out the myths about the socially accepted drug through fun events they're planning, like a scavenger hunt, mystery dinner, nd a day at the Rockhounds.
All events are open to the general public.
"Because if we only educate one group, then the whole community won't have the whole picture," Henderson said.
The Marijuana Mystery Campaign kicks off Tuesday at 2 p.m. by the flag poles in front of the Midland City Hall. At this time, Mayor Morales will also be bestowed a "key" to the campaign, which will be a magnifying glass. Additionally, community members are urged to take surveys before and after the campaign.