With the legalization of recreational marijuana just days away, the Porcupine Health Unit is discussing some of the health concerns associated with the drug.

The health unit says there are some well-documented health and safety risks including problems with thinking and coordination, mental health problems, lung problems and reproductive problems in both men and women. PHU says these risks aren’t just from smoking cannabis, but can also happen when using any oils and edibles.  Public Health Nurse Angie Royal says people can be exposed to these problems just through second-hand smoke. “Cannabis smoke is very similar to tobacco smoke, so because of that we are recommending eliminating exposure because of how harmful we know second-hand tobacco smoke is.”

Royal says some of these effects can be amplified in youth. “Your brain is developing until you are 25, so delaying use as long as possible is what we recommend.”

She says if you choose to use cannabis, you should just be aware of the health and safety risks.  Royal adds that the health unit has multiple resources and people around for you to talk to and learn more about the effects of cannabis.