Medical group warns against teen use of marijuana

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One in five Americans may now have legal access to marijuana but a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says that doesn't mean they should use it.

Sue Scheff, who works with kids in at-risk communities, said she heard many children saying that it must be "OK" to use marijuana because it is legal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published the report in the journal Pediatrics amid increasingly relaxed attitudes towards marijuana use, and increasingly relaxed laws.

The doctors group is against medical and recreational marijuana use for kids, with Dr. Ammerman explaining that, "Many parents use the drug and think it's OK for their kids".

The drug has been legalized (PDF) for recreational use in eight states and for medical use in 28 states.

However, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF) has noticed a decrease in the percentage of teens who admitted that smoking marijuana pot contains high risk whether it is for once in a month or twice a week, the teens were between the age of 12 years to 17 years.

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.

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

The experts said that parents should discuss it with their children as the parents are the role model for their kids and it is their duty to make them realize that it can lead them to abnormal brain development and impact memory.

"Marijuana is not a benign drug for teenagers because it affects their developing mind". The report says other potential benefits, doses and effects are mostly unknown.

With regards to the effects of medical marijuana on children and teens, solid research is still lacking.

In a newly released statement, AAP said, "So if you use marijuana in front of your teens, they are more likely to use it themselves, regardless of whether you tell them not to". However Ryan warned that today's marijuana is much more potent, and therefore potentially more risky.