AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
Legalization of marijuana: Potential impact on youth
- Committee on Substance Abuse and Committee on Adolescence
As experts in the health care of children and adolescents, pediatricians may be called on to advise legislators concerning the potential impact of changes in the legal status of marijuana on adolescents. Parents, too, may look to pediatricians for advice as they consider whether to support state-level initiatives that propose to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes or to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. This policy statement provides the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics on the issue of marijuana legalization, and the accompanying technical report (available online) reviews what is currently known about the relationship between adolescents’ use of marijuana and its legal status to better understand how change might influence the degree of marijuana use by adolescents in the future.