Pediatricians warn about dangers of pot use by kids

Author

02 March, 2017

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. 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. Researchers say that not only are marijuana products three to five times stronger than they were a decade ago, the drug itself isn't safe for the adolescent brain. "Teenagers are at a critical time of brain development, and they have lifelong impacts from marijuana use during adolescence".

According to the authors of the report, the marijuana is not safe for use and it leaves several negative effects of health.

A doctors' group is stepping up warnings to teenagers as the use of marijuana becomes more mainstream.

My kids are in elementary school, a little young for the "weed talk", but I wonder whether the fact that recreational pot use is now legal in a number of states will complicate things once we start having those conversations.

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The concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive substance in the marijuana plant, has increased considerably, from approximately 4% in the early 1980s to upward of 12% in 2012,3 increasing the risk of adverse effects and the potential for addiction. Parents' actions could make a real difference.

Regular use of pot by kids may contribute to addiction, depression, psychosis, lung problems, memory and attention problems, and impaired driving, the AAP said.

And while states with recreational legalization all set age limits at 21, and medical states only allow adolescent use with parental and doctor approval, the doctors aren't taking any chances.

The report appears in the February 27 online issue of the journal Pediatrics.


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