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- As the nation loosens its marijuana laws, pediatricians are tightening their warnings about teens and pot.

According to the report, increasing legality of marijuana across the country for medical and recreational use has created "an environment in which marijuana increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe, and therapeutic".

The AAP recommends that doctors urge parents not to use pot around their kids.

Research also suggests that the sooner a young person begins using a substance, the more likely it becomes that they will develop an unhealthy dependence or addiction to it.

"Parents who use marijuana themselves may not fully realize the effect this can have on their children", said Dr. Sheryl Ryan, lead author of the report and chairperson of the academy's Committee on Substance Use and Prevention.

Not so fast, teens: Marijuana legalization might be on the rise, but a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that the drug can still have adverse affects on developing brains.

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The report, "Counseling Parents and Teens About Marijuana Use in the Era of Legalization of Marijuana" (published online February 27), highlights the dangers of a climate in which the drug increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe and therapeutic. So far seven states have legalized recreational marijuana and 28 have approved it for some degree of medicinal use.

With about 20 percent of high school students using marijuana, experts said it's critical for parents and pediatricians to discuss the dangers with kids.

"Marijuana is not a benign drug for teenagers because it affects their developing mind".

However recreational use remains illegal for those under age 21, even in states that allow adult use.

The new report now advises parents to avoid using marijuana in front of their children and to keep all marijuana products stored out of sight, adding that young children who accidentally swallowed their parents' cookies or drinks containing the drug have had to be taken to the emergency room to treat what was mostly minor symptoms but also breathing problems. However Ryan warned that today's marijuana is much more potent, and therefore potentially more risky.


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