are in Activism / Goverment
Dayz - the Mentor leaflet
2004 - Mentor foundation advice to kids
leaflet produced by Mentor UK, with support from the FRANK campaign was aimed
at the 13-16 age group. Called "Hayzy Dayz", it uses a comic-book format
to warn kids of the health risks of using cannabis.
support what Mentor is attempting to do in giving information to young people
about the possible dangers of cannabis but it tries to do this by presenting the
cannabis using parents as being loopy pot-heads. The official blurb says "this
parental advice is recognised by the teenagers to be less than helpful and it's
left to the family's wise pet dog to contribute the facts and common sense to
Dayz - see the Mentor leaflet here
Mentor foundation here
has produced an sequel to "Hayzy Dayz" which gives information about
cannabis in what we think is a far more honest and believable way and without
resorting to insulting stereotypes.
Hayzy Dayz sequel
us what you think!
wrong with it?
message this leaflet contains seems to be to ignore the advice offered by older
people with experience of cannabis, instead believe the advice offered by the
government agencies. Making a mockery of parental advice in issues like this would
seem an unwise approach
the Mentor leaflet contrasts with the approach UKCIA would like to see, aside
from the obvious issue of it not explaining why the law makes the problems worse,
is the lack of harm reduction advice. They mention the negatives without constructive
solutions to combat them.
does mention using cannabis with tobacco can get you addicted to be fair, which
we were pleased to see, but it doesn't tell you how to avoid that if you still
want to go on using cannabis. Maybe this is obvious, but experience and indeed
formal research shows that many kids who use the cannabis in UK, at precisely
the age range this is targeted at, do not even contemplate using cannabis without
are really quite silly and unhelpful as well, suggesting that cannabis makes you
turn into a spaced out loser. There are a huge number of people who use cannabis
and a vast proportion are "normal", "successful" etc. rather
than the portrayed stereotype, which could be taken as somewhat insulting.
also makes the point that you are better off believing a talking dog than either
your parents or people with experience of cannabis use. Part of the problem with
children and illegal drugs is the lack of belief/respect they have in their parents'
opinions, which this can only reinforce. The stereotypes alone may turn children
away from reading/believing the more valid points of the leaflet as it is quite
likely they know people who smoke cannabis who do not remotely resemble them.
Additionally it mentions none of the positives of using cannabis, or where
it does (via the parents) it immediately ridicules them.
It also assumes
that readers have never used cannabis ("if you never start....") which
may well be false and hence exclude for many children reading the leaflet who
it would be well to target.
Bernie Hayzy - hey maaan...
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