The American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the proposed study on medical marijuana consumption in schools, which came in as part of the Massachusetts marijuana compromise bill, approved Monday by the state House and Senate. The bill is now waiting for Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature.
Senate Bill 3096 is aimed at advancing diversity in the sector and regulating the host community agreement (HCA) between cannabis companies and municipalities, creating a Social Equity Trust Fund, among other things. The proposal to conduct a study on medical marijuana use in students during school days is also awaiting the Governor’s response.
“The cannabis control commission, in consultation with the department of elementary and secondary education and the department of public health, shall conduct a study on the possession, administration, and consumption of medical marijuana, as defined in chapter 94I, at public or private schools in the commonwealth as it relates to students,” the proposed measure states.
Not Enough Research
While Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Ways and Means committee chairman and lead Senate conferee, says that the study could help students who would largely benefit from medical cannabis, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not agree.
“The AAP opposes medical marijuana outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration,” an academy spokesperson told the Boston Herald.
The association of pediatricians says there is not enough data on proper dosing and side effects to make a decision.
“There are no research studies on the use of medical marijuana in teens, so actual indications, appropriate dosing, effects, and side effects are unknown. The only data available on medical marijuana in the pediatric population are limited to its use in children with severe refractory seizures,” the organization advised parents.
What is the governor’s stance on this? Currently unknown, as a spokesperson said that the governor carefully examines all proposals that reach his desk, but did not offer a comment on the study proposal.
While the AAP recognizes medical marijuana benefits in children suffering from certain life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions, the organization expressed concern about cannabis use among teens because they are still developing.
“Marijuana is not a benign drug for teens. The teen brain is still developing, and marijuana may cause abnormal brain development,” the spokesperson told Boston Herald. “Teens who use marijuana regularly may develop serious mental health disorders, including addiction, depression, and psychosis.”
Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, agrees with pediatricians’ stance, though his argument is more focused on the alarming opioid crisis in the country.
“Maybe the Legislature is unaware of the drug epidemic we are experiencing in America,” Lyons said. “Many of those suffering today started by smoking marijuana… the heroin and fentanyl explosion in Massachusetts is real and is killing our kids. This is just another example of how out of touch the radical left is with the problems facing families in Massachusetts.”
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Source: cottobro and Kindel media by Pexels