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

01 March 2017

Those trends have led parents to increasingly ask doctors about kids' use, said Ammerman, a Stanford University pediatrics professor who co-wrote the report. But as dispensaries pop up in cities and towns across the country and reefer madness-style hysteria has largely died down, doctors are anxious that attitudes towards teenage marijuana use aren't serious enough. "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.

In the USA, 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.

Government numbers show marijuana use is a "thing" with teens with 40 percent having tried it and 20 percent actively using it.

It further states that teenagers' brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause "abnormal and unhealthy changes" and put them at risk for addiction, depression and psychosis.

Ottawa Public Health tracking potential local exposures to mumps
"In Alberta, we recommend two doses of mumps-containing vaccine", Alberta Health Services (AHS) medical officer of health Dr. Mumps is considered a preventable disease as anyone with an up-to-date vaccination is highly unlikely to contract mumps.

The new report also warns that some of these changes may be permanent.

The new report now advises parents to avoid using marijuana in front of their children and to keep all marijuana products stored out of sight, adding that young children who accidentally swallowed their parents' cookies or drinks containing the drug have had to be taken to the emergency room to treat what was mostly minor symptoms but also breathing problems. Experts say it's critical for parents and pediatricians to discuss the dangers with kids. Dr. Stratyner says marijuana affects short-term memory, especially in young brains that are still developing.

Although there are now no initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for minors and marijuana is still a federally controlled substance, changes in the legal status of marijuana, even if limited to adults, may affect use among adolescents by decreasing the perceived risk of harm or through the marketing of legal marijuana, despite restrictions that prohibit marketing and advertising to this age group.

The AAP report expresses concerns that legitimizing marijuana as a medication may lead teens to think its a safe drug, regardless of whether it's prescribed or not. However Ryan warned that today's marijuana is much more potent, and therefore potentially more risky.