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AAP provides guidelines for juvenile use of marijuana

While it is true that teenagers can get into a wide variety of types of trouble, the use of mood altering substances such as marijuana seems to be common. Depending on the crime involving marijuana that a teen is accused of committing, the severity of the consequences will vary and some may in face incarceration.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made its feelings regarding the matter known. The organization indicated that it believes that juvenile use of marijuana is a public health issue and should be treated that way rather than be an issue that is handled via the criminal justice system.

The organization’s change in stance follows the legalization of the drug in several states. Though it is too soon to tell how that will affect the use of the drug by young people, it is presumed that the drug will become easier for juveniles to obtain. It is also presumed that teens will be unsure of what to think about using the drug due to a barrage of mixed messages.

Along with voicing its stance on how drug matters involving juveniles should be approached, the organization also updated how it believes it should be used in medical settings with children. It determined that other than in situations where children are living with debilitating, chronic conditions, it should not be prescribed.

While states throughout the nation grapple with how to deal with the legalization of marijuana and juveniles, it is likely that arrests of youth will continue to occur. In these situations it is extremely important that the juveniles have a criminal defense lawyer on their side. The outcome of their case and the severity of any penalties assessed could depend upon it.

Source: National Public Radio, “Pediatricians Say Don't Lock Up Teenagers For Using Marijuana,” Maanvi Singh, Jan. 26, 2015

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