MPI hosted a media event regarding the initial findings from the ABCD study. Marijuana is legal but that doesn’t make it safe for our teenagers who are in a period of rapid growth. Some researchers are concerned that using marijuana as a young adult can have harmful and long lasting effects on their health and well-being.
A few years ago, the National Academy of Medicine convened a panel of sixteen leading medical experts to analyze the scientific literature on cannabis. The report they prepared, which came out in January of 2017, runs to four hundred and sixty-eight pages. It contains no bombshells or surprises, which perhaps explains why it went largely unnoticed. It simply stated, over and over again, that a drug North Americans have become enthusiastic about remains a mystery.
Retails sales of marijuana began in California back in January. While the marijuana industry celebrates the increase in access to marijuana, we are ignoring an emerging public health issue.
Marijuana products available today contain much higher amounts of the psychoactive chemical THC than 10 years ago. Between 1995 and 2014, the potency of federally-seized marijuana has more than doubled from approximately 4 percent to 12 percent, not including concentrates and edibles.
While the industry downplays the risks associated with marijuana, new data and research on even low-potency marijuana products are helping us to understand the impact of pot use on a child’s developing brain.
The goal of the Marijuana Prevention Initiative (MPI) is to reduce youth marijuana use and increase knowledge of its negative impacts. To accomplish this goal the MPI collaborates with partners across San Diego County to bring awareness and education about: (1) local trends, (2) national research, (3) youth-related harms, and (4) public safety issues associated with marijuana use. This document provides selected county, state, and national data points regarding youth marijuana use and its related health and community impacts, organized by the four categorized referenced above. These data points provide relevant marijuana use/perception statistics to help inform marijuana prevention efforts currently underway across San Diego County. This report was made possible through funding from the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency.
Many people believe that teen marijuana use is not harmful. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We live in California, where marijuana is now, as of Jan. 1, legal for recreational use. My four teens report that pot is already very easy to come by and that “everyone” uses it. More concerning to me: Many of my friends – fellow parents – believe that teen marijuana use is not harmful.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
First, the good news: Most teens don’t smoke pot or ingest edibles. That said, 41 percent of American high school seniors report having used marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids in the past year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s a very large minority. Do they know what they are doing? Here is what I wish all kids – and their parents – knew about pot:
Marijuana slows brain development in adolescence.