Pediatricians warn about dangers of pot use by kids

According to the report, increasing legality of marijuana across the country for medical and recreational use has created "an environment in which marijuana increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe, and therapeutic".

Sue Scheff, a parent advocate who works with children in at-risk communities, says she's heard from plenty of kids who say, "Well, it's legal, so it must be OK". But, says Dr. Ryan, today's marijuana is much more potent and potentially more risky.

"Parents really need to model behaviors of drug use".

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Recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that 77% of US adolescents aged 12 to 17 thought there was "no great risk" associated with smoking marijuana once a month. That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics says it is opposing both medical and recreational marijuana use for kids and its time pediatricians and parents have a sit down with their teens.

The report appears in the February 27 online issue of the journal Pediatrics.

- As the nation loosens its marijuana laws, pediatricians are tightening their warnings about teens and pot.

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However, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF) has noticed a decrease in the percentage of teens who admitted that smoking marijuana pot contains high risk whether it is for once in a month or twice a week, the teens were between the age of 12 years to 17 years. Doctors believe that this is not the right attitude for a parent. The brain continues to develop through a person's early 20s.

As more states decriminalize the use of pot, he says he is anxious teens won't take the long-term consequences seriously. This could raise concerns when thinking about the possible long or short-term effects of a drug on someone's brain.

The report indicated that some of these changes might be irreversible.

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