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Regional Health Departments Warn of Negative Health Impacts For Recreational Marijuana Use


Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Illinois and Northern Illinois Rockford Region Public Information Officers (NIR-PIO) warn that marijuana could have negative health impacts for some people.

Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell said individuals should be cautious before using the drug. “Marijuana can harm mental health. There’s an increased risk for anxiety, depression and even schizophrenia. That no amount is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women,” she said.

Dr. Martell said people should look at possible side effects before ingesting the drug.

“People should understand and research the health impacts before they choose to use a product,” she said. “And that includes things like smoking, tobacco, alcohol and now we have marijuana.”

She said people should see a doctor if they want to use marijuana for medical use. She said adverse effects could occur if someone chooses to self-medicate.

“Higher uses of marijuana including higher THC have been associated with short term problems such as attention, memory and learning disorders,” she said. “And depending upon the method and route of ingestion smoking in and of itself, has a harmful risk to the lungs.”

She said local health departments have links on their websites that have information about these impacts. People can also visit prevention.org to see more health risks.

NIR-PIO serves nine health departments. They include Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.