By Ana B. Ibarra, Kaiser Health News
SACRAMENTO >> Every day, Anna Denny encounters people who know their way around a joint.
Denny owns Elevated 916, a smoke shop in north Sacramento that sells tobacco products and smoking accessories. But many of her customers don’t limit their smoking to tobacco.
Because they’ve been there, done that, Denny just can’t imagine them using a new state website that offers resources — and plenty of warnings — about the use of marijuana now that lighting up recreationally is legal in California.
“Some of this, I can see it being useful for a grandma who might be interested [in marijuana] and is getting her information from her grandson,” Denny said. “In that case, this website is probably a better source.”
Grandmas and all other Californians can now visit the “Let’s Talk Cannabis” website launched last month by the state Department of Public Health. The site is the first step in the department’s public education campaign to inform state residents about the drug as it becomes more widely used and available.
It’s not a user guide. Instead, it is geared to youth, parents and drivers, mostly focusing on weed’s potential risks and harms.
Research on its effects has been mixed, but marijuana has been linked to potential cognitive impairments and driving accidents; it may be hazardous for developing fetuses. Today’s dope is also two to seven times stronger than it was in the 1970s, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
Last November, voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, making California one of eight states — plus the District of Columbia — to legalize the drug for recreational use. California’s recreational measure immediately made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 1 ounce or 28.5 grams of cannabis.