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Medical Marijuana vs Teen Marijuana Abuse

The US Department of Justice has relaxed enforcement of federal marijuana laws on legal users and dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.  Individuals can have their opinions about the new guidelines.  But it gives us the opportunity to again stress the adolescent marijuana abuse problem we now face.

Don’t get distracted by the uncertainty brought on by the new quasi-legal status of marijuana.  Is marijuana safe for medical use? Is it legal or illegal? Should adolescents ever use marijuana? Instead, since the consequences of youth drug abuse are very severe, we hope this article will help you focus on preventing it from happening in your home.

Adolescent marijuana abuse trends, though, have remained steady over the past few years.  This is for a variety of reasons.  Teens report that it is easier to obtain than alcohol, and there is also a perception of low risk with use.  It is likely that teens will now find it easier to obtain and, like other prescription drugs, will more readily perceive it as safe to use.

For the good of society or not, the decriminalization of marijuana has consequently encouraged some physicians and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the situation.  They prescribe and sell marijuana in a manner that does not meet the intent of current laws.   So it is almost common these days to see teens showing off their marijuana prescription.

However, most experts who advocate medical marijuana still only recommend it for AIDS patients. Unless a trusted physician prescribes marijuana for a real medical purpose, teens should not use it considering the effect it has on adolescent development.  Parents should always get a second and possibly third opinion when it is prescribed.  

Finally, you must talk to your teens about marijuana.  If you don’t tell them the negative aspects of using marijuana, they will most likely listen to their friends.  Learn as much as you can about adolescent drug abuse so you can give them the facts, and not sound like you are just “barking orders”.  In the end, your teens may still try marijuana.  But they will hear your words if problems develop.

A portion of an article from the Washington Post is below.  The full article offers a clear view of the availability of marijuana in California, where medical marijuana was pioneered.  

-- Begin external content --

At the other end of the supply chain, some 200 dispensaries have opened using a legal loophole in an L.A. moratorium on such outlets, some making only the thinnest pretense of operating as "caregivers," the legal justification for providing cannabis directly.

 "Medical marijuana, right here, right now," chants a barker on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, outside the doorway of the Medical Kush Beach Club. "Get legal, right now."

It really is that easy, the barker explains. Before being allowed to enter the upstairs dispensary and "smoking lounge," new customers are directed first to the physician's waiting room, presided over by two young women in low-cut tops. After proving state residence and minimum age (21), customers see a doctor in a white lab coat who for $150 produces a "physician's recommendation."

-- Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR2009041100767.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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