A group of doctors has issued a warning about marijuana, and for a very surprising reason.
Marijuana is frequently hailed as a safe drug that has lots of medical applications, but are we being too blasé about its dangers? The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks so, and they’ve issued new guidelines this week for doctors and parents to talk with teens about the risks associated with using marijuana.
Although marijuana has enjoyed a nationwide legalizaiton push, and most people seem to be in favor of allowing the use of the drug, people should keep in mind that there are risks associated with it, the group said in a statement. The AAP pointed to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health that found there had been a tremendous decrease in 12 to 17 year olds who believe that there was a “great risk” to using marijuana.
The group believes that parents should talk to their teens about potential abnormal brain development that marijuana can cause, as well as memory problems, issues with concentration and an impact in executive functioning skills.
“Many states have recently made significant changes to their legislation making recreational and/or medical marijuana use by adults legal,” the paper’s abstract states. “Although these laws, for the most part, have not targeted the adolescent population, they have created an environment in which marijuana increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe, and therapeutic. This clinical report offers guidance to the practicing pediatrician based on existing evidence and expert opinion/consensus of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding anticipatory guidance and counseling to teenagers and their parents about marijuana and its use. The recently published technical report provides the detailed evidence and references regarding the research on which the information in this clinical report is based.”