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American Academy of Pediatrics Opposes Marijuana Legalization
This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy statement and technical report on marijuana. The policy statement defines terms and makes several recommendations, including:
 
Use by Children
“Given the data supporting the negative health and brain development effects of marijuana in children and adolescents, ages 0 through 21 years, the AAP is opposed to marijuana use in this population.”
 
Legalization  
Definition—“Allowing cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis (restricted to adults 21 years of age)” or older.
Recommendation
“The AAP opposes legalization of marijuana because of the potential harms to children and adolescents.”
Legalization of medical marijuana
Definition—“Allowing the use of marijuana to treat a medical condition or symptom with a recommendation from a physician.”
Recommendation
“The AAP opposes ‘medical marijuana’ outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration. Notwithstanding this opposition to use, the AAP recognizes that marijuana may currently be an option for cannabinoid administration for children with life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions and for whom current therapies are inadequate.”
AAP’s technical paper explains “without peer-reviewed studies providing scientific evidence favorable for the use of marijuana in pediatric populations, recommending its use would have to be based on an individual provider’s experience, weighing the needs and potential risks for an individual patient.”
Decriminalization
Definition—“Reducing penalties for cannabis-related offenses to lesser criminal charges or to civil penalties.”
Recommendation
“The AAP strongly supports the decriminalization of marijuana use for both minors and young adults and encourages pediatricians to advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana,” with a strong emphasis on providing funding for prevention and treatment for those who are addicted.
Editorial
Journalists have failed to report this story objectively. The AAP calls for marijuana to be moved to Schedule II to enhance research, not to “reclassify marijuana as a less harmful substance,” as some report. In fact, the AAP reviews extensive research showing how harmful marijuana is, especially to kids. Nowhere does AAP call for states to legalize CBD oil as many report. Two pharmaceutical companies are seeking FDA approval for CBD oils. Doctors can access them for children with epilepsy through expanded access while the drugs are being studied. Read AAP’s Marijuana Policy Statement
here and AAP’s Marijuana Technical Paper here.
National Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome our new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story. Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, and subscribe to E-Highlights to learn more.

National Families in Action is a group of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. We advocate for:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy
What is our call to action?
  • Ask your leaders to establish FDA expanded access to Epidiolex® for children with epilepsy
  • To protect children, adolescents, and young adults ask your leaders not to legalize marijuana.
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