Pediatricians Raise Warning Regarding Marijuana Use for Teens

Marijuana's potency has also risen demonstrably in the past few decades, which could contribute to parents mistakenly believing that the weak grass they used to smoke in high school is the same stuff their teenagers may smoke today. "Teenagers are at a critical time of brain development, and they have lifelong impacts from marijuana use during adolescence". They pointed out that the message from the American Academy of Pediatrics is crucial now since many states have already legalized the use of marijuana for adults.

California and 28 other states allow medical or recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21 and doctors are anxious many parents who use the drug may think it's okay for kids, CBS2's Chris Martinez reported.

Sue Scheff, a parent advocate who works with children in at-risk communities, says she's heard from plenty of kids who say, "Well, it's legal, so it must be OK". The recently published technical report provides the detailed evidence and references regarding the research on which the information in this clinical report is based.

The AAP report expresses concerns that legitimizing marijuana as a medication may lead teens to think its a safe drug, regardless of whether it's prescribed or not. This is particularly important because most states have legalized medical use for adults, and many have decriminalized or legalized adults' recreational use.

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Frequent use beginning in the teen years may lower IQ scores, the report says.

Dr. Seth Ammerman, one of the report's co-authors, says parents should know that the brain continues to develop until the early 20s, raising potential short-and long-term effects of a mind-altering drug.

The adverse effects of marijuana have been well documented. Some of those problems include addiction, depression, dulled sensory awareness, and declines in attention spans and problem-solving skills.

  • Ismael Montgomery