Northwest Territories cannabis program targeted at youth, educational but also strange and a little creepy

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Stoney the Inukshuk is just one of several new characters included in a new set of comics created to educate Northwest Territory youth on cannabis.

Stoney the Inukshuk is just one of several new characters included in a new set of comics created to educate Northwest Territory youth on cannabis. NWT Government website

The Northwest Territories recently launched a new cannabis education program focused on youth.  The program centres around 4 comic books featuring various characters like Stoney the Inukshuk, Roach the Raven and Weedini.  While the approach is aimed at speaking to a younger audience the comics themselves border on the strange and even a little creepy.

One of the comics, titled “Homegrown”, features a couple admiring the northern lights.  When they decide they should toke up to make it more “trippy”.  But then the lights transform into an unborn baby and start talking to the couple about the dangers of cannabis use during pregnancy.  Another comic features Stoney the Inukshuk who shares his cannabis wisdom with two young guys taking a toke in front of him.  Stoney shares his insights on how cannabis use can cause paranoia and dependency.

homegrown Northwest Territories cannabis program targeted at youth, educational but also strange and a little creepy

All of the comics allow the reader to scan the zapcode at the bottom of the page to view the augmented reality extensions embedded.  The augmented reality extension leads to more facts and information for the reader to engage with.

Overall this is a unique and interesting way to capture the attention of a younger more digitally savvy audience.  But it also features some strange characters and has a very stoner vibe to it, which perhaps may work in its favour. The question is whether the content and the weed puns will resonate with the audience.  The challenge with any program like this is walking the fine line of trying to be hip and cool for a younger audience but still getting the salient points on the health hazards across.  Only time will tell if the youth of the Northwest Territories feel these comic books click for them or not.  If they do there may be more Roach the Raven and Weedini in their futures.

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