Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced the launch of a new campaign that aims to educate Chicagoans on the perils of pot smoking just over a month before the drug is legalized statewide.
As part of the Cannabis Facts Chicago initiative, which is being rolled out alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health, Lightfoot’s office is warning against daily cannabis use and the potential for overdosing on weed.
“Cannabis now comes in many different forms and is much more potent than in the past, with levels of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, three times what they were about 25 years ago,” a statement notes. “Over-consumption can result in hallucinations, paranoia, increased heart rate, confusion, poor judgment, panic attacks, nausea and vomiting.”
The announcement also advises pregnant and breastfeeding women to keep off weed altogether and reminds drivers that it’s both dangerous and illegal to get lifted before getting behind the wheel.
Lightfoot said the city is particularly focused on “how to protect our youth from products that could be harmful to their growth and development,” with the statement making clear that pot use can impair brain development and potentially lead to mental health issues.
The mayor’s office is also warning Chicago cannabis users to keep pot products away from kids, pets and houseguests who could unintentionally be subjected to a bad trip.
“Edibles can come in the form of candy, chocolate or beverages that might be attractive to children,” according to the statement. “Keep your cannabis in a child-resistant container and consider storing in a lockbox or safe.”
The health department will partner with medical professionals, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago to relay the tips to young people and other residents.
Visit the Cannabis Facts Chicago website for more details.