California wants to make sure you're informed about the use of cannabis and its health impacts before it's legally sold at licensed retailers on January 1, 2018.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched a public education campaign on its website called "Let's Talk Cannabis".
Since Nov. 9, California residents over the age of 21 have been allowed to legally use marijuana without a medicinal card, as long as it's not in a public place, according to California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a group dedicated to reforming the state's marijuana laws.
Although the commercial sale of cannabis doesn't go into effect for a few months, the Golden State wants to get a head start in educating its residents on the use of cannabis. The CDPH developed a campaign describing the scientific reasons for restricting the access and sale of cannabis to people under 21 years of age, the potential harm of using cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding, the penalties for providing a person under 21 with cannabis products and the dangers of overusing cannabis.
“We are committed to providing Californians with science-based information to ensure safe and informed choices," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer, Dr. Karen Smith in a press statement.
The website details what's legal under California law, and points out, cannabis is still illegal under federal law. "Let's Talk Cannabis" also answers questions such as, "If I am pregnant, can I use cannabis to relieve nausea?".
The CDPH does not recommend pregnant women use any form of cannabis and also advises breastfeeding women to stay away from cannabis as it may harm their baby's brain. The agency also warns of consequences, such as mandatory drug counseling and even jail time, for people under 21 caught in possession of or using cannabis.
The website provides information on how to safely use and store marijuana. It also explains details such as, the difference between the effects of ingesting edible cannabis and smoking it. The site answers questions about driving under the influence and the effects of secondhand cannabis smoke.
Readers have numerous FAQ links, fact sheets and additional resources available at their fingertips through "Let's Talk Cannabis".