Town hall to focus on legal pot

Risk related to marijuana to be discussed

Blair Drug and Alcohol Partnerships will have a town hall meeting Thursday to provide education on the risk related to the potential legalization of recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Comfort Inn, 130 Patchway Road, Duncansville, with guest speaker Luke Niforatos, chief of staff and senior policy adviser for Smart Approaches to Marijuana Inc.

His presentation is titled “Marijuana: Lessons Learned in Legalized States.”

Nonmedical use of marijuana is currently illegal in Pennsylvania; however, recreational use by adults is legal in 10 states as well as Washington, D.C.

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the cannabis sativa or cannabis indica plant. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that contains close to 500 chemicals, including THC, a mind-altering compound that causes harmful health effects, a BDAP release states.

People smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes, in pipes or water pipes, in blunt and by using vaporizers that pull THC from the marijuana. Marijuana can also be mixed in food, such as brownies, cookies and candy or brewed as a tea. People also smoke or eat different forms of marijuana extracts, which deliver a large amount of THC and can be potentially more dangerous.

Marijuana has been linked to many issues including depression, anxiety, suicide planning and psychotic episodes, the release said.

Many studies have also shown that teens who smoke marijuana are more likely to try other drugs.

BDAP is a charitable organization whose mission is to empower healthy choices and addiction-free lifestyles.

Information on the group and on drug and alcohol issues and services is available at www.blairdap.org.