DENVER, CO - April 25, 2016: A detail of a chalk painting of Tommy Chong, of stoner comedy duo Cheech & Chong at Nightshade marijuana dispensary in Denver. Veteran budtender Casey Robertson designs chalk art pieces on a regular rotation for the Denver and Aurora locations of the pot shop chain. (Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post)

Just say whoa: We’re a more educated public about marijuana than we were in the 1980s

Knowledge about marijuana has come a long way from the days of “Just Say No” and D.A.R.E.

“To me, my biggest awareness of drug education growing up was the cast-iron skillet and the eggs frying in it,” says Maureen McNamara, founder of Cannabis Trainers, a Denver-based provider of training and education services for the cannabis industry. McNamara was of course referencing the public service announcement campaign in the late-1980s by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

McNamara had no awareness then of cannabis playing a medicinal role, but that has shifted dramatically in the past several years not just for her but for her parents as well, she says in a discussion on The Cannabist Show with host Ricardo Baca.

“(They) are now curious, not willing to dabble — they wouldn’t know what to say to your indica/sativa question,” McNamara says of her parents (Baca traditionally asks each guest about their cannabis preference). “But I’m able to share information, so I think we’re on the right upswing of educating people to the value and benefits of cannabis.”

Baca adds that he believes there should be “real talk” with teens about marijuana as opposed to a fear-based education program.

Watch the full episode of The Cannabist Show