Health departments remind public about health effects of marijuana

Health departments from the Northern Illinois Rockford Region, which includes the DeKalb County Health Department, want the public to know about marijuana use now that its recreational use in Illinois is legal.

"While marijuana is legal in Illinois, that does not mean it is safe and without health risks," according to a news release from the organization.

According to the release, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not use marijuana. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight and may harm the development of the babies brain, according to the release.

For young people, the release state that marijuana can impair short term memory, learning and intelligence and that the brain is still developing until the age of 25.

The release warns that marijuana can be addictive, stating that one in 10 users will become addicted. Higher concentrations of THC have been linked to increased rick for addiction, according to the release, and regular use increases risks for anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

Smoking marijuana can also harm lung tissue and damage small blood vessels, according to the release.

The release also warns against driving or performing other tasks if you have used marijuana, and that it should be kept away from pets and children.

"Before using marijuana, know the facts and keep them safe," the release states.

More information can be found at,