As states across the nation are relaxing marijuana laws, doctors have growing concerns changing perceptions could lead more teens lighting up.
Doctors form the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled down on warnings of the dangers of the psychoactive drug in an article published in the medical journal "Pediatrics" last month. The report sought to counsel parents and doctors on how to explain the risks and discourage use by teens.
"We would rather not mess around with the developing brain,” said Dr. Seth Ammerman, one of the study's co-authors, told The Associated Press.
The human brain does not fully develop until people reach their early 20s, and studies examining brain functioning in adolescents who use pot 10 or more times per month show memory effects and diminished executive functioning and planning abilities. It can also lead to mental health problems like addiction, depression and psychosis in adulthood.
"Parents who use marijuana may not fully realize the problems that their own use may present for their children's health; the effect that their modeling of recreational use may have on their child, adolescent, or young adult," the report states.
Parents who use marijuana should not use in front of their kids and should discuss the harms associated with drug use honestly and with a doctor, if necessary, the report suggests.
- Reduced memory
- Diminished executive functioning
- Decreased planning abilities