DENVER, CO — A school bus filled with more than 6,000 footballs will roll into Elitch Gardens as students head back to school. The City and County of Denver is partnering with Elitch Gardens for the project, which aims to highlight how many students lose college financial aid and opportunities after marijuana violations.
Each football represents $10, and those stuffed in the bus add up to a year’s tuition at a four-year college. The football-stuffed bus illustrates how underage marijuana use — recreational weed is legal in Colorado, but not for people under 21 — can affect students’ lives longer-term.
In the 2017-2018 school year, 79 percent of marijuana violations by Denver Public Schools students resulted in suspension or expulsion, and more than 200,000 college students nationwide have been denied financial aid because of a drug arrest or minor drug offense, the city said.
The school bus will be wrapped with messaging from the High Costs youth marijuana education campaign.
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“Our partnership with Elitch Gardens further demonstrates Denver’s commitment to educating our youth in an engaging environment, with a message that resonates – losing a scholarship or financial aid due to using marijuana underage can really change someone’s future path,” said Ashley Kilroy, director of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses and the agency’s Office of Marijuana Policy. “The High Costs bus is a tangible, physical representation of our message and makes the campaign real in the eyes of Denver’s teens. It can be hard to imagine how much a four-year tuition costs, but seeing what 6,395 footballs looks like is something people can connect with.”
Accompanying the bus will be a ball toss game, and teens can receive a mini-football souvenir. The effort will be supported on social media with a custom Snapchat filter and social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
The display will be at Elitch Gardens from Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 18 during park operating hours. Teens can find the bus parked in front of the half pipe thrill ride in the northwest part of the park. Beginning August 19, the bus will spend seven days parked at the corner of Louisiana and Franklin.
For discounted tickets to visit the park Aug. 16 to Aug. 18 and see the bus, guests can use promo code ‘HIGHCOSTS’ to buy tickets at https://www.elitchgardens.com/ and save $30 off standard gate admission.
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