Gateway to Curiosity: Medical Marijuana Ads and Intention and Use During Middle School
(Psychology of Addictive Behaviors)
Elizabeth J. D’Amico, Jeremy N. V. Miles, and Joan S. Tucker Online First Publication, June 1, 2015.
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In sum, professionals “on the front line” working with adolescents (e.g., pediatricians, clinicians, educators) must begin to educate young people about medical marijuana. First, they need to provide youth with an accurate understanding of what medical marijuana is and how it is used. This means explaining to youth that there are no efficacy studies for many conditions that marijuana is routinely used to treat. Furthermore, although there is some evidence that marijuana may help with certain ailments, much larger clinical trials with more varied groups of patients are needed (Sisson, 2014). It is also important to discuss the potential harms of this drug so youth understand how the drug may affect their developing brain and how the drug can affect performance in both adolescence and adulthood. Finally, from a public health standpoint, it is crucial that we begin to address regulatory standards for this industry given that it is in the early stages; we have a unique opportunity to shape the industry practices as legislation continues to evolve. This could help decrease potentially numerous problems similar to those that have occurred with both alcohol and tobacco advertising.