Advocate for local business policies to restrict the sale of merchandise promoting marijuana.
During our community assessments in the summer of 2005, members of our youth coalition assessed stores in major malls for what we call “Drugwear”—clothing that has images or slogans that promote marijuana use. Many apparel items were found and purchased to use as examples to illustrate to parents and community leaders about the proliferation of pro-marijuana messages. Youth coalition members worked in partnership with the County’s HARM initiative and other youth prevention organizations to send letters to stores and brand manufactures asking them to stop selling and making “Drugwear.” One such company was Vans, an action sports clothing company located in Carlsbad. Vans sold a variety of clothing that included graphics with marijuana leaf designs and other pro-drug messages. Through letters and subsequent conversations, and a high school television news piece highlighting the campaign, Vans agreed to stop producing their marijuana motif clothing world wide in late 2005.
In an effort to address the remaining retailers who sold “Drugwear”, youth groups throughout the county put on a large scale media event in an effort to apply pressure to those retailers by informing parents about this dangerous practice. Since beginning these efforts, we have seen a steady decrease in the number and variety of these items (as noted during annual assessments). Additionally, we have started to include smaller stores, not in major malls, into our assessments. Youth groups throughout the county have really taken ownership of this project and are energized to continue to make this change in their community, and work to keep pro-marijuana merchandise out of our local malls and retail outlets.