The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the effects and potential dangers presented by the use of cannabis, which will become a legal substance across the country on October 17th.
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 our region about the upcoming legalization of cannabis and what it means for our youth. The forums consist of a presentation by the EOHU, a community partner panel, as well as a question and answer period.
“We’re launching this campaign to remind the public that while cannabis will soon be 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.”
Using 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.
Starting on October 17, 2018, individuals in Ontario will be able to purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis at a time from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website. The government-run website will be the only legal way to purchase cannabis for non-medicinal purposes in Ontario. Individuals aged 19 and older will be able to carry a maximum of 30 grams of non-medical cannabis with them in public. They’ll also be able to grow up to 4 non-medical cannabis plants per residence (not per person). Also starting on October 17, 2018, individuals will be able to consume cannabis anywhere tobacco products can be legally used.
For more information about cannabis and the EOHU’s awareness campaign, check out www.eohu.ca/cannabis or call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.