As people prepare to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in Canada on April 20, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched an education campaign for students and young adults.

The "Cannabis: Your Questions, Answered” campaign encourages young people to delay use until after the brain is fully developed at age 25.

The health unit says cannabis should never be used by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those with a history of mental illness.

“There remain a lot of questions and very few sources for accurate and credible information on the negative health effects and safer ways to consume this newly legal product,” says Melissa Valentik, the health promotion specialist at the health unit.

Officials also suggest safer consumption practices could help to lower the risk for short and long-term harms.

“It’s important for young adults to know that starting cannabis use early and using heavily can lead to long-term or permanent damage to brain function, including memory, learning, and judgment as well as an increased risk for dependence or the development of mental illness,” adds Valentik.

The campaign also suggests adults who choose to use cannabis should not use more than more than once per week, and choose lower THC products while avoiding co-use with alcohol or tobacco.

The campaign involves promotions in bus shelters, buses, movie theatres, on social media, and at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College campuses.

No retail outlets licensed to sell marijuana are located in Windsor-Essex, but cannabis remains available legally through the provincially controlled Ontario Cannabis Store.