Niagara County’s Board of Health has voted to support the New York State Association of County Health Officials in its position against legalized recreational marijuana.
Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton said the Board is very supportive of medical marijuana. In fact, they think that should be cheaper and easier to access.
But they feel very differently – along with 57 of New York’s 62 counties – about its recreational use.
The NYSACHO still has major concerns about the adverse effects of marijuana, and Niagara County health officials agree.
Stapleton said no matter the substance, burning it, smoking it, and bringing it into your lungs isn’t healthy. He says the Board cites risks including pot affecting the function of the lungs and leading to chronic bronchitis. The Board voted on its position in late September. At the same time, they’re trying to fight the statistic that kids now start smoking as young at 13 years old.
“So something like this, it would be a contradiction to say we want to restrict smoking to age 21, we want to have children stop smoking..when we’re making something available for people to hurt their health,” Stapleton said.
News 4 asked Stapleton if Canada’s legalization puts any pressure on Niagara County to change its position, especially with two of the region’s three international bridges in Niagara. Stapleton said the board feels no pressure to change their minds on something they unanimously feel is unhealthy.
You can read NYSACHO’s official position here.