Largest paediatric medical group in the US takes firm stance against legalization. It joins the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and other major medical groups who have already voiced opposition to legalization. 

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Academy of Paediatrics, an organization of 62,000 paediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, today came out firmly against marijuana legalization and wide-scale medical marijuana. The group also urged research into marijuana’s medical components and the use of treatment instead of criminalization for users.

 “The AAP today reiterated the widely held scientific view that marijuana is dangerous and should not be legalized,” commented Dr. Sharon Levy, member of the AAP group that organized the position and SAM Science Advisory Board Member.

Dr. Seth Ammerman, MD, lead author of the statement and clinical professor of paediatrics at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, remarked, “If you look at the history of the tobacco industry, we have lots of rules and regulations to try to prevent youth use, but tobacco companies ignore these or have loopholes to get around them. Rather than going the route of tobacco, let’s be more proactive and take a public health-oriented approach.”

Additionally, the report called for several provisions consistent with Project SAM’s policy pillars, including efforts to research the non-smoked components of marijuana for the potential treatment of epilepsy and other conditions.

“Americans now have a choice: they can believe the scientific evidence presented by America’s paediatricians, or the pseudoscience peddled by Big Tobacco 2.0,” remarked SAM President Kevin Sabet.  “The AAP should be commended for making their position so publicly known. They have proven that we can oppose legalization but also be in favour of a sensible, treatment-based approach that encourages science and research.”

The AAP report follows an American Psychiatric Association position paper released last year, which concluded: “There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. In contrast, current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to harm, given the effects of cannabis on neurological development.”

Source: KEVIN@LEARNABOUTSAM.ORG 26th Jan. 2015

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