SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
The American College of Pediatricians (the College) documents the harmful effects of marijuana use in its statement, Marijuana Use: Detrimental to Children, and urges parents, educators and healthcare providers to warn our youth about them. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area has monitored the impact of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado for over a decade. The most recent report (“The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact”) notes that by 2013, marijuana use in Colorado was 55% above the national average among teens and young adults, and confirms legalization resulted in increased use.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the College stated, “The belief that pot is harmless is a dangerous myth. Marijuana’s impact on the teen brain leads to an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, sexual victimization, academic failure, permanent loss of IQ, psychopathology, addiction, and psychosocial and occupational impairment.” She added, “And the accidental ingestion of edible forms of marijuana by toddlers is increasingly landing them in pediatric intensive care units.”
The American College of Pediatricians urges policy makers to place the welfare of children first and maintain legal restrictions on marijuana.