NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - As the nation loosens its marijuana laws, pediatricians are tightening their warnings about teens and pot. So far seven states have legalized recreational marijuana and 28 have approved it for some degree of medicinal use. That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics says it is opposing both medical and recreational marijuana use for kids and its time pediatricians and parents have a sit down with their teens.
Dr. Harris Stratyner is the head of Caron Treatment Center's New York clinic. He has seen a spike in the number of concerned parents coming to him with questions. He says marijuana is a dangerous drug.
As more states decriminalize the use of pot, he says he is worried teens won't take the long-term consequences seriously. Researchers say that not only are marijuana products three to five times stronger than they were a decade ago, the drug itself isn't safe for the adolescent brain. Dr. Stratyner says marijuana affects short-term memory, especially in young brains that are still developing.
But what about kids who suffer from seizures or conditions where medical marijuana is prescribed? He says those are medical conditions and that those patients are a very small number compared to the hundreds of thousands of young people who use marijuana and destroy their ability to think and memorize.