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

The advice comes in a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published Monday in Pediatrics.

And the growing range of marijuana products create new risks, the report says, including "accidental pot poisoning from an increasing array of edible marijuana products such as pot-infused sweets, baked goods and beverages that contain high amounts of THC yet are often indistinguishable from ordinary treats". "Seeing parents use marijuana makes kids more likely to use it themselves, whether or not their parents tell them not to, because actions speak louder than words", she said. "Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes", said Dr. Seth Ammerman in an AAP news release. It says emphasizing that message is important because most states have legalized medical use for adults, and many have decriminalized or legalized adults' recreational use.

The legalization of medical marijuana in many states and the District of Columbia and the outright legalization of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older in a few states and the District of Columbia have resulted in changes in the access to and availability of this drug. "To not use substances in front of their children to model behaviors they want to see in their children", says Patrick.

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The report, "Counseling Parents and Teens About Marijuana Use in the Era of Legalization of Marijuana" (published online February 27), highlights the dangers of a climate in which the drug increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe and therapeutic. He says those are medical conditions and that those patients are a very small number compared to the hundreds of thousands of young people who use marijuana and destroy their ability to think and memorize. Experts say it's critical for parents and pediatricians to discuss the dangers with kids. This increases the risk of adverse effects and the potential for addiction, the report says.

Hence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is planning to issue new guidelines this week for medical care providers as well as parents to talk to teenagers about the risks of marijuana use. However Ryan warned that today's marijuana is much more potent, and therefore potentially more risky.

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