LA County releases rap videos aimed at keeping teens away from marijuana

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- County officials are using rap videos and social media to try and stop underage use of marijuana among Los Angeles teenagers.

Two videos released last week from the county's Department of Health feature teenagers rapping lyrics that discourage their peers from trying marijuana to solve their problems.

"It ain't legal for you yet, your brain's still got to grow. Focus on yourself there's so much more you need to know," the teenagers rap.

Recreational marijuana use in California became legal this year for adults 21 and over. As an attempt to curb the use of marijuana among underage teenagers, the videos are part of LA County's social media campaign that officials hope resonate with teens, in part because the message is coming from their peers.

"They totally don't want to hear from us, and I think, again, the issue is being accurate with the information and giving young people other options," said Barbara Ferrer, LA County Health Director.

The message isn't just delivered by teens to teens, it's also being delivered in the one place teens spend most of their time: social media. The hashtag #BiggerChoices is prominently featured in the campaign.

"We'll reach them any way possible, and if social media is the way today, yes," said Elijah Gonzalez, a high school student featured in one of the videos. "People think it might be OK, but it's OK to a certain degree. The things people don't know is what will harm them."

The campaign will run through November and also feature roundtable talks on the issue.
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