By Mike Kruzman /

The Livingston County Health Department has turned state funding into medical marijuana education and outreach.

The health department, this year, has partnered with the Human Services Collaborative Body Substance Use Disorder (SUD) workgroup to accomplish objectives under a grant from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The SUD Workgroup brings local substance use agencies together to work towards creating a continuum of services and supports for people experiencing addiction and recovery. The LCHD and SUD workgroup worked together to determine priority topics and highlight risks, rules, and legal implications related to marijuana.

Health Promotion Specialist Courtney Rynkiewicz said in a PSA for the health department that one area they focus on are the dangers of driving while high: “The percentage of cannabis involved fatal crashes is increasing in Michigan. This underscores the need for more public health approaches for preventing drivers from operating vehicles while under the influence of cannabis and the need for greater community education around the risks of driving while high.”

They also produced materials for education and outreach, like billboards, a brochure on marijuana use while pregnant, and a fact sheet on the drug and its associated health effects. The group also worked with TalkSooner to provide postcards that address marijuana use with youth while advocating for parents to talk with their kids about it. Members of the health department and the workgroup also received training by a Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor on the changes in marijuana law. The LCHD is encouraging those who want help in quitting marijuana to contact their local Community Mental Health Authority office.

Reach the Livingston County branch at (517) 546-4126.