New report advises parents against letting teens use pot
The nation's pediatricians are beefing up their warning about teenagers and marijuana use.
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 brain continues to develop through a person's early 20s. "Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes", said Seth D. Ammerman, MD, FAAP, co-author of the AAP clinical report and former AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention Committee member.
"Parents also should not feel that they have to share all of their experiences with their children or that they can not voice disapproval of their teen's use because they have used marijuana themselves", said Sheryl A. Ryan, lead author of the report and chairperson of the AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention.
Dr. Sheryl Ryan, a Yale University pediatrics professor and lead author of the academy report, also added that marijuana "is the drug of choice" for many of her teenage patients, with some pointing out that as their parents or grandparents smoked pot in college with no negative effects, daily use most be safe.
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With about 20 percent of high school students using marijuana, experts said it's critical for parents and pediatricians to discuss the dangers with kids.
The report doesn't provide any new science though, and instead simply reiterates the Academy's already stated disapproval of recreational marijuana legalization. Recreational use has been correlated with changes in memory, planning abilities, low IQ scores, and the likelihood of addiction during adulthood.
Studies have been conducted in adults to research the potential therapeutic effects of the class of chemicals known as cannabinoids (the active compounds in marijuana) administered either as a pharmaceutical preparation or as marijuana leaves, distilled oils, or edibles and drinkables. "To not use substances in front of their children to model behaviors they want to see in their children", says Patrick. However Ryan warned that today's marijuana is much more potent, and therefore potentially more risky.
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Feb 28 2017