Over the years, public health officials, parents, and educators have tried many tactics to try and discourage drug use among teenagers from commercials like the "This is your brain on drugs" to making substance abuse education a mandatory part of the curriculum at many schools. Now, a company called Innocorp has introduced a high tech learning aid to help scare kids away from using pot--marijuana goggles.
What Are Marijuana Goggles?
When you first hear the term marijuana goggles, you can't help but think of the slang term "beer goggles," which people will jokingly say they are wearing when they have been drinking alcohol and think someone is attractive who they would not be interested in if they were not under the influence. In actuality, marijuana goggles act similarly to those figurative "beer goggles." When a user puts them on, the green tint of the lenses filters out red light, causing distortions in vision. The idea is to mimic the effects that marijuana has on visual perception.
How Marijuana Goggles Are Used
Officially called the Fatal Vision® Marijuana Simulation Experience, marijuana goggles are used as part of a drug prevention presentation program designed by Innocorp. During the experience, teens are asked to wear the goggles and complete tasks like navigating a maze. With their vision distorted, teens struggle to complete the tasks and can get a feel for how marijuana use can impair their judgment.
Critics of Marijuana Goggles
Innocorp states that the idea behind the Fatal Vision® Marijuana Simulation Experience is to show teens that it's dangerous to use marijuana and drive. In states where it's now legal to use the drug recreationally, this is a valuable lesson, as it's undoubtedly true that smoking weed or using a vaporizer pen or desktop vaporizer and then driving can be hazardous.
Unfortunately, schools and parents are purchasing these goggles thinking that they can actually prevent drug use in teens. Critics of the program state that there is no evidence that this is true. Others point out that wearing a pair of goggles that blocks out red light doesn't fully recreate the feeling of being high on marijuana, as the drug also affects memory, coordination, and many other things. Teens could potentially use the goggles and think being high is no big deal and then end up trying marijuana.
Personally, I think that scare tactics aren't the best way to keep teens from using drugs. A name like Fatal Vision comes across as being silly, and there's proof of that on Reddit where these goggles are being mocked by teens, who is the target group that are supposed to be learning from them. While I do think it's useful for anyone to see what it's like to try to drive when intoxicated, it's not enough to just give teens a pair of goggles to wear for one activity and then expect them to abstain from cannabis. There needs to be a frank discussion of how marijuana can negatively affect their future, and parents need to be involved to make the process more effective.