October 12, 2018
Getting the Facts on Cannabis
With the upcoming legalization of Cannabis on October 17, 2018, the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s website has reliable and evidence-based health information for our communities. We have collaborated with our many partners to develop and share this information, realizing we all have a role to play in protecting the health of our youth and our families.
We recognize that some people are going to use cannabis–in a recent survey, approximately 23% of residents aged 15 and older living in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark reported using cannabis in the previous twelve-month period.
“When making informed decisions about personal use of substances, it is important to know the facts” explains Kimberley Marshall, Registered Nurse. “Knowing the facts includes an understanding of the health risks associated with the use of cannabis and how to reduce those risks. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, available on our website, can help inform and support decision making with scientific information to reduce the potential harms associated with personal cannabis use or second hand exposure to cannabis smoke.”
Key information for all to consider;
- Youth until the age of 25–30 are particularly vulnerable to cannabis related harms. Regular cannabis use affects the brain development during this period and can lead to long-term serious health effects.
- Cannabis use affects the growth and development of the fetus; the chemicals released by cannabis can cross into breastmilk. So it is better to avoid cannabis use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- Individuals can become addicted to cannabis; the risk is higher if the individual, or other family members, has anxiety, depression or other mental illness.
- It is not safe to drive after using cannabis – cannabis use impairs judgment and attention, slows reaction time and compromises motor skills.
For more information about Cannabis and other substances, please see the Cannabis section of our website.
Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550