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HomeNewsNorthern Health reminds people of marijuana risks, optimistic about legalization

Northern Health reminds people of marijuana risks, optimistic about legalization

While some people might get lost in the marijuana-induced fog during 4/20, Northern Health reminds the public to be smart about the choices they make if they decide to smoke a joint.

Marijuana isn’t the most harmful drug out there but isn’t entirely benign either says Medical Health Officer Dr. Andrew Gray.

“There is a misperception out there that cannabis can make you more relaxed and more focused and that makes you a better driver. Overall, that’s really not the case as cannabis slows down your reaction time, it narrows your attention and we actually have evidence that overall motor vehicle incident rates actually go up on 4/20.”

“The biggest concern that I have is around driving, probably the biggest negative health impacts that we see on the population level from cannabis use is from people driving while high.”

Marijuana has quickly become part of the culture in Canada for several years now with the younger generation pushing for its legalization for quite some time.

In BC, the government announced in December it would allow both public and private recreational sales of cannabis with wholesale distribution being made available to liquor stores.

Residents will need to be a minimum of 19 years old in order to buy pot under the legislation.

“The public health community is pretty unanimous that trying to control drug use by criminalizing it does more harm than good and it does need to be legalized and regulated in a cautious way, which finds a way to minimize some of these risks.”

“It will likely be less accessible to youth who would be at a higher risk for negative effects and would take the negative proceeds out of the black market and hopefully put some of the tax revenue towards some of the prevention programs. On the whole, I think it will be a positive thing but we do need to be cautious about it.”

However, if used in excess too many times it can produce paranoia and psychosis.

In Prince George, the city is home to a pair of Hemp shops – they are Zaga’s and Doctor Love and Hemp City.

The Federal government is looking to make pot legal by July 1st.

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