As if current scare tactics based on fear and promising the prevention of teen drug use aren’t absurd enough, a new product preaching the dangers of marijuana use has arrived.
Similar to their patented drunk goggles, Fatal Vision’s (patent pending) marijuana goggles were designed with the intention of showing people what it's like to be under the influence of marijuana while driving and performing a host of everyday activities.
As shown in the following video, you can see teens wearing green tinted goggles, promising to demonstrate “the many impairing effects of recreational marijuana use”, including ‘short term memory loss, impaired executive function, altered visual perception, and compromised motor coordination. "
How Much Do Marijuana Goggles Cost and How Do They Work?
Designed similarly to ski goggles, marijuana goggles run in the "too expensive" price range of $975 to $2,200 per kit, and work by using a green tint to sieve out red light, making it difficult to see red colored objects such as red lines of a maze or red brake lights during a driving scenario. According to the company's CEO, "by filtering out the color red, we eliminate a cue in an activity that relies on short term memory," with the ultimate idea of showing teens what it's like to perform regular tasks while being high.
In case you’re confused about how green tinted goggles alone are supposed to simulate the varied and often complex effects of marijuana on the human psyche, they're not, and marijuana advocates have been quick to call it a pricey marketing gimmick rather than a new drug prevention technique.
“Whoever invented ‘marijuana goggles’ has apparently never consumed cannabis, or is simply a brilliant marketer,” said Matt Simon, political director of the Marijuana Policy Project. (via rt.com)
The Problem With Using Scare Tactics On Teens
In a recent testing conducted at a high school in Indiana, students were asked to complete a series of exercises including a maze using Fatal Vision's marijuana goggles. Without the goggles, students were able to complete the maze in 12 seconds, but once the goggles were put on, it took those same students 4 times as long to complete.
“I think it kind of scares them. Especially younger kids. High schoolers they kind of look past it, but with the younger kids they see what horrible things can happen. I think it impacts them a lot because they can see how real it is,” said, Blair Viehweg, one of the seniors trying out the goggles to Wishtv.com.
Despite research showing that the most effective ways of preventing teen drug use are through education and informing them how to make smart decisions based on facts, it appears as though fear is the main driving force behind marijuana goggles. Just like Dare programs in the 90's that focused primarily on the negative effects of drug use, experts claim that marijuana goggles could have an opposite effect from their original intention of prevention, especially among teens who aren't as gullible as their peers.
"The problem with scare tactics, even technologically sophisticated ones, is that marijuana use is too widespread a behavior to fool kids for long into believing that it's invariably a terrifying experience," said Keith Humphreys, Professor and Section Director for Mental Health Policy in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (via Washington Post).
More Skepticism From Top Experts
Even though statistics show that highway fatalities have actually decreased in states such as Colorado that have legalized marijuana, Innocorp, the company responsible for manufacturing marijuana goggles, insists that it's product is reliable and meant primarily for driving under the influence of marijuana, a stance that experts aren't buying.
"There is no evidence at all that they are of any value for preventing marijuana use," continued Professor Humphreys in his skepticism of marijuana goggles. "This just won't work, and I fear schools and scared parents are getting ripped off. The programs that work in helping kids grow up healthy are almost always broader in their focus than this."
Lying to teens about not being able to see red while under the influence of marijuana instead of providing them with marijuana education based on scientific research, should in no way be an employable method for preventing teen marijuana according to Humphrey's and other experts such as Professor Joseph Palmer of the Center for Early Childhood Development in the Department of Population Health at NYU.
Although Palmer agrees with Innocorp and their stance that driving while under the influence of marijuana poses serious risks to public safety, he does not agree with the company's decision of promoting false messages through the guise of presumed marijuana education.
"Misinformation about drug effects has been used as a scare tactic for decades, and this doesn’t seem to be that different." - Joseph Palmer (via Washington Post)