Ef­fects of pot

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The East­ern On­tario Health Unit ( EOHU) has launched a cam­paign to raise aware­ness about the ef­fects and po­ten­tial dan­gers pre­sented by the use of cannabis.

The goal is to re­mind the pub­lic that while recre­ational use of cannabis is now le­gal, its con­sump­tion still presents health risks, says Dr. Paul Roume­li­o­tis, Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health at the EOHU.

“De­pend­ing on who con­sumes it and how, cannabis can have neg­a­tive ef­fects on an in­di­vid­ual’s health in the short and long terms. We know that youth and young adults are at the high­est risk of neg­a­tive health im­pacts from cannabis use. It’s there­fore the role of pub­lic health to make sure in­di­vid­u­als make in­formed de­ci­sions when it comes to cannabis use,” he says.

In or­der to raise aware­ness about cannabis and mit­i­gate the risks its use can present for in­di­vid­u­als, the EOHU has cre­ated a “Cannabis Q&A” web­site where mem­bers of the pub­lic will find in­for­ma­tion about what cannabis is, the laws sur­round­ing the sub­stance, and the ef­fects it can have on your health. The web­site can be ac­cessed at www.eohu.ca/cannabis.

The EOHU has also launched a video series ti­tled “Le­gal doesn’t mean harm­less” to de­bunk myths about cannabis use. In ad­di­tion, the health unit pro­duced ads that will air on lo­cal ra­dio sta­tions, screen at the Galaxy theatre in Corn­wall and ap­pear on so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Along with its com­mu­nity part­ners, the EOHU has also been hold­ing a series of fo­rums for par­ents in the re­gion about the le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis and what it means for youth.

Mix­ing cannabis and driv­ing is dan­ger­ous be­cause cannabis slows users’ re­ac­tion time and in­creases their risk of be­ing in a col­li­sion. In ad­di­tion, if a po­lice of­fi­cer finds that you’re im­paired by cannabis or any other drug, you may face se­ri­ous penal­ties up to pos­si­ble jail time. In­di­vid­u­als who are 21 and un­der, as well as novice and com­mer­cial driv­ers will not be al­lowed to have any cannabis in their sys­tem.

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