Pubdate: Mon, 24 Oct 2016
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2016 The New York Times Company
Author: Henry Berman


"Our Reefer Republic," by Timothy Egan (column, Oct. 8), makes a good
argument for the legalization of marijuana, but he concludes that
although legalization is "not without its problems" it has "mostly
been no big deal." It has been a "big deal" for children and

In Colorado, after the legalization of recreational marijuana, the
number of visits to emergency rooms by children under 10 for
marijuana-related reasons doubled; a third of those children needed
care in an intensive care unit. How does this come about? The laws
generally allow for "edibles," which include gummies, cookies and hard

The effects on teenagers are even more serious. Teenage brains have
reached an important stage of development that can be "disrupted" by
marijuana, leading to long-term behavioral and learning problems. A
recent study in The Journal of Adolescent Health showed that there is
increased use of marijuana by teenagers whose parents who use
marijuana. And many adolescents vape cannabis in school bathrooms;
with much less, quick-to-dissipate odor, it is difficult to detect.



The writer is a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of
Washington School of Medicine.
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