Weld County Health Dept. Warning about Dangers of Marijuana Use
There might be some side affects to smoking marijuana.
According to The Greeley Tribune, the Weld County Health and Environment Department is attempting to warn the public about the possible consequences of marijuana use through their new campaign.
The campaign, which utilizes billboards and more, spreads the message that "Marijuana is not Harmless."
The department's spokesman Eric Aakko said the department started the initiative because they felt that there was not enough awareness about the downsides to marijuana use.
Since the drug's legalization in Colorado in 2014, Aakko has seen an increase in marijuana usage among minors, as well as a rise in marijuana-related traffic deaths.
"We're looking at a report that says every three days a Coloradan dies in a marijuana-related traffic crash," said Aakko. "We wanted to get the message out there because if you are using marijuana, the worst thing that you can do is drive."
The department is also looking into the possible health effects associated with marijuana use, although there is currently little data on the subject.
Some studies have tied marijuana use to a decreased satisfaction of life and poor physical and mental health, but none of the research is definitive.
Unsurprisingly, marijuana advocates disagree with these findings. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) even accused Weld County of "not listening to people" about the benefits of the drug.
The department's first billboard, which recently covered up a "Support More Victories for Veterans Sign," is up at 8th Avenue and 29th Street in Greeley.
The board features the new slogan along with a depiction of a car crash. 11 more billboards are expected to appear by mid-January.
Majority of the signs will be along U.S. 85, with others on I-25 and U.S. 34.
The entire campaign cost $20,000, and was funded by a sizable grant. The rest of the grant money will go towards researching the impact of opioids and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
The movement has already received a negative response on social media, with one Facebook user calling it "a load of *poop emoji*."
Whether they are for or against marijuana usage, the billboards will certainly give Weld County residents something to think about.