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Pediatricians Oppose Medical Marijuana, with Some Exceptions

Although a variety of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational reasons in recent years, a number one group of U.S. pediatricians says it opposes such legalization, over concerns that these laws might be harmful to children.

However, the group says that in some cases, a number of the chemical compounds contained in marijuana might be wont to treat children with debilitating diseases.

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and therefore the District of Columbia. Although none of those places allows the drug to be sold to children or teens, making marijuana available to adults could increase the access that teens need to the drug, consistent with a policy statement released today (Jan. 26) by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Just the campaigns to legalize marijuana can have the effect of persuading adolescents that marijuana isn’t dangerous,” Dr. Seth D. Ammerman, a member of the AAP Committee on drug abuse, said during a statement.

Still, laws that legalize marijuana for recreational use are relatively new, and it isn’t clear what truth affects teens are going to be, the AAP said. For this reason, the group is against legalization, but supports the thought of conducting studies into the effect of those laws, to raised understand the laws’ impact on teen use.

The AAP also recommends that in states where marijuana use is legal, there should be strict regulations that limit the marketing and advertising of the products to youth. States legalize marijuana should prohibit the sale of the drug to those under age 21, the AAP said.

The AAP also opposes the utilization of marijuana for medical purposes, apart from drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, there are two FDA-approved drugs that contain synthetic cannabinoids, which are compounds almost like the active ingredients in marijuana.

Some studies suggest that cannabinoids could also be helpful for adults with certain medical conditions, but no studies are wiped out children, so more research is required to work out the effectiveness and dosing of the drugs in children, the AAP said.

However, the AAP said that exceptions for using cannabinoids could also be made for youngsters with debilitating or life-limiting diseases, as these children may enjoy cannabinoid medication and should not be ready to await a lengthy research process to prove the drugs’ effectiveness.

In teens, marijuana use is linked with a variety of negative consequences, including impaired STM and decreased concentration, which can interfere with learning, the AAP said. Temporary alterations in response time and control while under the influence of marijuana can also contribute to deaths and injuries among teens, especially if the teenager is driving a car while under the influence. Some studies have also found that marijuana use in adolescence is linked with lower odds of graduating from high school.

The AAP’s previous policy statement on marijuana was released in 2004, and also opposed the legalization of the drug.

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