Marijuana forum held in Centreville

CENTREVILLE — The St. Joseph County Substance Abuse Taskforce and the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services hosted a marijuana forum at the St. Joseph County ISD building on Friday, Aug. 4.
Tara Smith, substance abuse prevention specialist, said the purpose of the forum was to teach people facts concerning marijuana.
“We do a campaign that is just about being aware of the risks of marijuana use,” she said. “
This event is just so that we can stay aware of the trends of marijuana use because there are a lot of changes and a lot of controversy happening right now.”
Smith said she hoped the event would educate the public.
“We just want parents and youths to really be aware of the effects of marijuana,” she said. “It is not that we take a negative stance on it, we just want people to be educated on marijuana use and educated on what is heading our way legally with marijuana use.”
Dr. Donald Greydanus of Western Michigan School of Medicine kicked off the event with a presentation on the Medical and Psychiatric Effects of Marijuana Use in Youth.
“Adolescence is the time to try things, so when they hear about marijuana and how ‘safe’ it is, they want to try it,” Greydanus said.
“We have to try, whether it is in our own family, our patients, our clients, or others, to tell them that [marijuana] is not benign and that there are problems.”
According to Greydanus and his research, potential adverse effects to cannabis include cannabis poisoning, as well as psychiatric, cardiovascular, pulmonary, in utero and dental effects, in addition to cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.  
Please see Saturday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.

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