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Reason for Concern

 

The rising acceptance and prevalence of marijuana in today’s society and culture is concerning to health experts. In fact, in 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed its opposition to legalizing marijuana, citing the potential harms to children and adolescents.

“We’re very concerned about the message this is giving young people,” says Gail Weil, executive director of Illinois-based Community Youth Network, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “Young people equate if it’s OK medically, it must be safe to use. And we know this is not true. If someone took high blood pressure medicine who didn’t have high blood pressure, they would be fainting and passing out. It’s no different with marijuana.”

Weil also cites the dangerous effects of marijuana on younger children. Younger brains are more vulnerable to becoming addicted, she says, and younger brains are more vulnerable to having harmful effects from the drug, such as the loss of IQ points. 

“So we have to be very careful in making that assumption that though it may have some efficacy for medical usage, it is not a harmful drug for kids to use,” says Weil.

 

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