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WELD COUNTY, Colo.– The Weld County Health Department has launched a new campaign titled “Marijuana is Not Harmless”.

“We acknowledge Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana,” said Mark E. Wallace, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department. “However, the general public, and especially youth, need to understand that marijuana use is not harmless. There are consequences to driving impaired and using frequent amounts of marijuana.”

According to an annual report released from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the yearly number of emergency department visits related to marijuana have increased 54 percent since 2013; and the yearly number of hospitalizations has increased 101 percent.

Traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana has more than doubled since legalization, resulting in one marijuana related traffic death every 3 days. Adult marijuana use in Colorado is 96 percent higher than the national average; and the past month usage for Colorado youth ages 12 and older is 78 percent higher than the national average.

The Weld County Health Department says it will use billboards and social media posts to promote its campaign.

Visit here for more information about to campaign.