The AAP has updated their policy statement on marijuana

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated their policy statement on Marijuana. You can read the full document here. But for those of you who want the high notes, here’s a summary:

  • They oppose its use in children and adolescents.
  • They oppose the of medical marijuana outside of legal regulated use. I think, in other words, they don’t want pediatricians going off the reservation and using it in places it’s not legal. They do, however, hedge for kids with life-threatening conditions where other therapies aren’t working.
  • They oppose legalizing marijuana.
  • They do, however, support decriminalizing marijuana.
  • They support changing it from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug so more research can be done.
  • They think it’s a bad idea for adults to use it in the presence of kids.
  • They want everything done to prevent advertising to kids, letting kids get into products, etc.
  • They support studying the effect of legalization in places that has occurred.

For the most part, these shouldn’t make a splash or cause a fuss. I mean, I don’t know anyone who supports marijuana use for kids. I also think that changing its DEA classification is a no-brainer. I think most pediatricians agree that smoking around your kids is a bad idea. And I think studying the effects of policy changes is always, always a good idea.

But they walk a fine like with the legalization/decriminalization thing. The latter is a no-brainer to many people. It’s the former that will spark debate. After all, if your policy statements on tobacco and alcohol don’t argue for making those products illegal, how do you argue something different for marijuana?

Let me say it again so no one gets confused. I completely agree that marijuana should not be sold to or used by children – just like alcohol and tobacco should not be. The legalization bit is all about adults. What’s the justification for saying marijuana is more dangerous than those sustances so that your policy statements on the three differ?

Feel free to yell at me on Twitter. And here’s a video for you to enjoy again:


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