The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with new guidelines for doctors and parents on how to talk to teens about the risks of using pot. They said that the recent legalization of marijuana has lowered teen’s perception of the risks. They go on to say;
The adverse effects of marijuana have been well documented. Numerous published studies have shown the potential negative consequences of short- and long-term use of recreational marijuana in adolescents. These consequences include impaired short-term memory and decreased concentration, attention span, and problem-solving skills, all of which interfere with learning. Alterations in motor control, coordination, judgment, reaction time, and tracking ability have also been documented. These effects may contribute to unintentional deaths and injuries among adolescents, especially those who drive after using marijuana. Negative health effects on lung function associated with smoking marijuana also have been documented.
They also suggest that parents talk with teens about the following;
1. Marijuana is not a benign drug for teens. The teen brain is still developing, and marijuana may cause abnormal brain development.
2. Teens who use marijuana regularly may develop serious mental health disorders, including addiction, depression, and psychosis.
3. There are no research studies on the use of medical marijuana in teens, so actual indications, appropriate dosing, effects, and side effects are unknown.
4. Recreational use of marijuana by minors and young adults under the age of 21 years is illegal and, if prosecuted, may result in a permanent criminal record, affecting schooling, jobs, etc.
5. Never drive under the influence of marijuana or ride in a car with a driver who is under the influence of marijuana.
6. Marijuana smoke is toxic, similar to secondhand tobacco smoke. The use of vaporizers or hookahs does not eliminate the toxic chemicals in marijuana smoke.
Parents that have enrolled in Gobi get this study, and we hope have this conversation with their teens. There is currently a major long-term study of marijuana to better understand how it affects us. We do know that marijuana has less effect on the developed brain. Our recommendation is for kids to “Stay off the grass” at least until they are over 25.