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Grey Bruce Public Health prepares for next phase of marijuana legalization

The Grey Bruce Public Health Unit will promote two key messages when cannabis edibles become legal this fall.

Promoter Jason Weppler said public health is putting together a media campaign to ensure people understand the need to store edibles safely away from pets and children.

He said if a child accidentally consumes marijuana, they would feel sick and nauseous and should be seen by a doctor, but he has never heard of any fatality from cannabis.

“It’s generally a myth, I haven’t’ seen anything personally where anyone has overdosed from cannabis, unless the product is potentially mixed with other drugs, and that’s always a concern, depending on the source of your cannabis,” he said

Wepler said he is urging people who use marijuana to buy the legal product which is labelled and controlled.

“Obviously that would mean it would be a safe product. And we do know that if you’re getting it off the street, you’re not quite sure what other drugs that cannabis may have been in contact with, or if it has been laced with another product,” he said.

However, he said cannabis use can affect the developing brain and should be avoided before age 25.

Weppler said with edibles becoming legal in the fall, it’s more likely people could consume too much. He said users need to be aware of the delayed impact of edibles.

“When you consume cannabis by edibles, the onset is often delayed, where it is much quicker if it is smoked. And people often overconsume if they’re not feeling the effects right away,” he said.

Weppler said he’s expecting consumption rates and drug-impaired driving rates will see increases with the legalization of marijuana but added that no statistics are available yet.

Weppler said he doesn’t expect to see any local cannabis shops open up in the next round of licencing, but added when local stores are proposed, he expects public health will be consulted.