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"She's young--it's just a little pot." Research says not.

This post is a repost of an article from the the May 2021 edition of Pediatric News, a publication by the American Association of Pediatricians (AAP), a magazine intended for doctors and nurse practitioners. You can skip to the article now if you want to. If you don't have the time, I have also listed the 5 main points of the article below. If you want to stop reading here because you feel this is biased, please read the following:

The AAP is NOT a conservative organization--they are a very socially liberal organization, and support legalization of marijuana for use among adults, among other causes such as gender-affirming treatment for transgender children. However, the overwhelming research-based evidence that marijuana is very harmful to children caused the AAP to publish this article and to suggest immediate intervention.

You may think, "Well, this article just says 'Cannabis Use Disorder,' and my child's not a drug addict." Here's how simple it is to diagnose Cannabis Use Disorder in children or adults: (1) marijuana use leads to giving up formerly desired activities, and (2) marijuana use is associated with lower standards at school, home, or work. This easily describes over half of all children/teens who use marijuana.

Last, before you dismiss my agreement with this article as ignorant, understand that in the five years and 1800 hours of AAMFT-supervised therapy it took to earn my LMFT license after graduate school, I almost exclusively earned those 1800 hours working with families of children who had the mental health issues described in this article. Regardless, it is hard to disagree with this level of research.

If you still don't have the time or desire to read the article, here are the "high points." (That's a joke, but not very funny) Adolescents with CUD:

  1. Are 300% more likely to self-harm (cutting, etc.)

  2. Are 59% more likely to die before becoming adults

  3. Are 300% more likely to die by homicide

  4. Are diagnosed with depression 73% of the time, and are at higher risk for other mood disorders

  5. Do not experience normal brain development, especially when they start young

  6. Last, the authors recommend that parents ignore incorrect opinions in the media, and seek medical and mental health treatment for their children immediately.

Here's the article:

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