Medical group warns against teen use of marijuana

Ammerman claimed that many parents might think that if they use it cautiously and they are fine, then their kids might also use marijuana since it is benign and it does not trigger addiction.

Sue Scheff, a parent advocate who works with children in at-risk communities, says she's heard from plenty of kids who say, "Well, it's legal, so it must be OK". "Teenagers are at a critical time of brain development and they have lifelong impacts from marijuana during adolescence", Dr. Stephen Patrick, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging doctors to protect children from the harms of marijuana as the nation becomes increasingly tolerant of the drug's use.

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Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms; recommendations include bed rest, a soft diet and a pain reliever for body aches. The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the vaccine, one at 12 to 15 months and the other before entering school.

In the U.S., legalization and the growing industry for medical and recreational marijuana have paved the way for dramatically more potent pot than the contraband stuff that older generations recall from their youth. "To not use substances in front of their children to model behaviors they want to see in their children", says Patrick.

The drug has been legalized (PDF) for recreational use in eight states and for medical use in 28 states. In addition, many states have reduced penalties for the recreational use of marijuana; criminal penalties have been reduced from felonies in some cases to misdemeanors or infractions.

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. Some of those problems include addiction, depression, dulled sensory awareness, and declines in attention spans and problem-solving skills. These effects may contribute to unintentional deaths and injuries among adolescents, especially those who drive after using marijuana.

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