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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

American Academy of Pediatrics Against Legalization

Talk about marijuana has become commonplace in the news due to the ever changing shift of views regarding the hot button drug. With four states that have deemed the drug legal for recreational use, and 23 states and Washington D.C. where the drug can be used for medical purposes, public opinion on the drug is changing. However not everybody is welcoming the change including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), HealthDay reports.

"We know marijuana can be very harmful to adolescent health and development," Dr. Seth Ammerman, a member of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse and an author of the policy statement, said in an academy news release.

This week the AAP issued a policy statement arguing against marijuana legalization, citing the potential harm it can cause to children and teens; but they do support the use of marijuana for children with debilitating or terminal illnesses. The AAP supports decriminalizing marijuana, as long as the move is made along with teen marijuana use prevention programs and treatment is made available for teens with marijuana use problems, according to the article.

"Making it more available to adults -- even if restrictions are in place -- will increase the access for teens. Just the campaigns to legalize marijuana can have the effect of persuading adolescents that marijuana is not dangerous, which can have a devastating impact on their lifelong health and development," Ammerman said.

The AAP’s concerns with teen marijuana use include:
  • Memory and Concentration Problems
  • Difficulties in School
  • Impaired Motor Control
  • Impaired Coordination
  • Impaired Judgment
  • Risks of Accidental Injury and Death
The AAP policy statement was published in Pediatrics.

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