Concerning Trends over Medical Marijuana Use among Teens
by Kalen Smith
Should we be allowing our children to use marijuana to deal with serious medical problems? Do laws regarding medical marijuana among teenagers need to be changed? A new study suggests those questions may need to be addressed.
A growing number of groups have advocated using marijuana to treat patients suffering from a number of medical problems. Over the past 35 years, a number of groups have advocated for critically ill patients. They have told their state lawmakers that medical marijuana can be an effective tool to treat patients who are suffering from cancer and a number of other serious medical problems. Many of them have gotten through to their congressmen and governors. Seventeen states have stood up to the Controlled Substances Act which prohibits the sale and possession of marijuana under any circumstances.
Some medical care providers have used medical marijuana to promote the use of medical marijuana to promote the use of cannabis to help juveniles suffering from chronic health problems. Michigan has disclosed that 44 patients under the age of 18 have been given medical marijuana cards.
The use of medical marijuana among children has created a lot of controversy. Several studies have been published on the topic, which make different claims on the topic. A study on Michigan children using medical marijuana found that medical marijuana gives them relief. However, even some of the most passionate supporters of medical marijuana are uncomfortable giving it to minors. Critics state that there are few studies that show the effects that cannabis has on their brains.
Has legalization encouraged more children to smoke marijuana? The federal government argues that it has, which is part of the reason it has intensified its efforts to crack down on a number of the dispensaries that are running throughout the nation. The number of children between the ages of 12 and 15 who are using marijuana has risen sharply in the past few years.
Does this mean that using cannabis to treat seriously ill children can turn them into addicts? That is a difficult question to answer. However, a growing concern is that many children may not be using medical marijuana appropriately. Many children prescribed marijuana have been found to be selling it or giving it to friends. A study published by researchers from the University of Colorado found that a growing number of children are using marijuana that was prescribed to someone else. They interviewed 164 residents in Colorado substance abuse treatment facilities. They found that nearly three quarters of them had used someone else’s medical marijuana on dozens of occasions.
The study also evaluated how marijuana effected the teens in the study. Those who used someone else’s medical marijuana tended to start smoking at a younger age. They also used it more frequently and were more likely to develop behavioral problems or get into trouble with the law.
The authors of this study argue that we need to take new measures to keep medical marijuana from falling into the hands of children. The effects medical marijuana has played on teenagers haven’t been studied in much depth. We may need more extensive studies so that our lawmakers can make better informed policies. Kalen Smith writes about health and addiction treatment. He knows many make the argument marijuana is non-addictive, but Kalen suggests reading the article article "Does Drug Use Always Lead to Addiction" to educate yourself on the reality behind that belief.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8