Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Health department calls attention to marijuana laws and health effects before 420

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds Coloradans and visitors planning to attend 4/20 events to review the laws governing retail marijuana and tips on safe use. The department’s Good to Know campaign has released a “Know Before You Go” infographic and is providing retail marijuana stores materials to educate customers.

Research completed last fall by the Colorado School of Public Health shows that adults familiar with the “Good to Know” campaign were more than twice as likely to correctly identify key retail marijuana laws. The campaign produced an 11 percent increase in the awareness of retail marijuana laws.

“We want to make sure Coloradans and visitors know what they can and can’t do when it comes to buying and using marijuana in our state,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “Knowing our laws and safety concerns will help those who choose to use marijuana have a more responsible experience.”

“Know Before You Go” messages include:

· Public space is not the place: This includes parks, sidewalks, concert venues, restaurants/cafes/bars, ski resorts and amusement parks. In addition, you cannot use marijuana on federal land, including in national parks and national forests.

· Be smart with edibles: A user should start with a low dosage to see how he or she feels before using more. It can take as long as four hours to feel the full effects of an edible.

· If you choose to use, don’t mix it with booze: Using both marijuana and alcohol at the same time is more dangerous than using either alone, and the effects can be unpredictable.

· Secondhand smoke is no joke: Marijuana smoke has some of the same unhealthy chemicals as tobacco smoke. Be mindful of others who don’t want to be exposed, especially children.

· Transport responsibly: Drivers and passengers are not allowed to use any marijuana products while in a vehicle. And, marijuana products can’t leave the state.

The health department is committed to ensuring the safe, legal and responsible use of marijuana. “Know Before You Go” will be broadcast on “Good to Know” Colorado social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter andInstagram, through the spring and summer. The department is conducting extensive outreach to licensed retail marijuana retailers across Colorado to ensure they are equipped to address customer questions or concerns.

For more information about retail marijuana in Colorado, visit

The Retail Marijuana Education Program is funded with $4.6 million for this fiscal year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) to research and educate the public through the continued “Good to Know” educational campaign, “Protect What’s Next” youth prevention efforts, and a Spanish-language campaign, Marihuana En Colorado, Lo Que Debes Entender. Funding comes from marijuana tax revenue appropriated to the department by the state legislature.

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