Doctors Say Pot Can Be Dangerous For Developing Brains

Mar 02, 2017, 00:41

As legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use spreads across the country, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is anxious about how adolescents will be affected by the change in policies and attitudes toward the drug.

The report even goes so far as to argue that "it is best to not share your own histories of drug use with your children." - because after all, being honest with your kids could lead to a reduced IQ, right? "Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes".

Dr. Sheryl Ryan, a Yale University Pediatrics professor and lead author of the academy report, says marijuana is the "drug of choice" of many of her teen patients, who think that their parents used pot in college and turned out OK. In the U.S., many parents believe that pot use is harmless and it could not affect their children.

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A doctors' group is stepping up warnings to teenagers as the use of marijuana becomes more mainstream. The recently published technical report provides the detailed evidence and references regarding the research on which the information in this clinical report is based. Most of these states now allow the use of marijuana for a variety of medical conditions in adults as well as in children (with parental permission). (These figures include Washington, DC.) Additionally, marijuana has been decriminalized in 22 states, where its use is considered a misdemeanor or infraction.

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. This increases the risk of adverse effects and the potential for addiction, the report says.

Alterations in motor control, coordination, judgment, reaction time, and tracking ability have also been documented.

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