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With Legal Weed on the Rise, Pediatricians Worried About Teen Use

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants to make sure parents know that legalization has limits.

by Zach Harris

 

Marijuana is now legal in one form or another in 28 U.S. states. But as dispensaries pop up in cities and towns across the country and reefer madness-style hysteria has largely died down, doctors are worried that attitudes towards teenage marijuana use aren’t serious enough.

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says that doctors have been getting an increased number of questions from parents about their children using marijuana. And while the Academy has no data saying teens are actually using marijuana more frequently, they do cite a survey that says teenagers are also less likely to see weed as “dangerous or risky” than they did in previous years.

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. "We would rather not mess around with the developing brain," said Dr. Seth Ammerman, a pediatrician who co-authored the report.

Pediatricians are worried that teen use and parent approval could be on the rise; but while smoking a joint before fourth period chemistry class probably isn’t the best idea, and some studies claim that teenage weed smoking could lead to a lower IQ, the chemicals in marijuana affect individuals differently - and one recent study even showed that in England, kids who smoke weed are twice as likely to be in gifted classes than their straight edge peers.

The report doesn’t provide any new science though, and instead simply reiterates the Academy’s already stated disapproval of recreational marijuana legalization.

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? 


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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