clearn.png
Monday September 23rd, 2019 3:11AM

'This ain't your mother's marijuana,' surgeon general says

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials issued a national warning Thursday against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women, as more states legalize the increasingly potent drug for medicinal and recreational use.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams made the announcement, with Azar calling marijuana "a dangerous drug." Officials said President Donald Trump has donated $100,000 — one-quarter of his annual government salary — toward a digital campaign to raise awareness of the risks. Trump has forgone his official salary since taking office.

The warning comes as legal marijuana has grown into a $10-billion industry in the U.S. with nearly two-thirds of states legalizing it, mainly for medical uses.

Possessing small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use is legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The list includes California, Colorado, Michigan and Maine. Federal law still treats it as a controlled substance akin to opioids.

Adams said science shows that marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. The drug has also gotten stronger, with a three-fold increase in the concentration of the active ingredient THC in cultivated plants over the last 20 years.

"This ain't your mother's marijuana," Adams said.

The American Medical Association said it strongly supports the government's effort, adding that it for some time it has been recommending against marijuana use by teens, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

The surgeon general said his advisory is a direct result of scientific research that runs counter to changing social mores.

"Marijuana use is a risk to the developing brain," Adams said. "Over time there has been a change in attitudes about marijuana creating a false sense of security."

While the White House has made the opioid epidemic a top policy and political priority, marijuana previously had not gotten such high-level attention.

Federal officials say they fear the trend toward legalization may make it more enticing for teenagers to try marijuana. It's a commonly used drug among youths, they said, along with alcohol and e-cigarettes. No states allow recreational marijuana use by teens. States with medical marijuana programs, Illinois among them, generally allow use by minors with consent from a legal guardian and certification from a doctor.

Adams said that for teens it carries a risk of affecting brain development, which continues in the 20s. Frequent marijuana use by teenagers is associated with changes in parts of the brain that are involved with attention, memory, decision-making and motivation.

Among pregnant women, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, with about 7% reporting they had used it within the past month in a 2017 study. Some women use it to help with morning sickness. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise women not to use marijuana during pregnancy, and to discontinue the drug if they find out they are pregnant.

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said pregnant women taking marijuana to relieve morning sickness should stop.

"If you have morning sickness, talk to your physician," said Giroir. "There are FDA-approved drugs to help with morning sickness. Taking marijuana for morning sickness has never been shown to be safe and effective."

The government's National Institute on Drug Abuse is paying for several studies on marijuana use in pregnancy, including one involving women who have chosen to continue using the drug to treat morning sickness despite warnings.

While some studies have suggested that marijuana may be harmful to the developing brain, the evidence isn't conclusive, explained NIDA Director Nora Volkow, who said she strongly supports the surgeon general's warning.

"We cannot close our eyes and say this is not happening. It's happening," said Volkow. It would be a missed opportunity not to continue the research to find conclusive evidence on how the drug affects the fetus, she said.

"My view is that the way that you change things is by providing evidence," she added.

___

Associated Press Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in Chicago contributed to this article.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP Business, AP Health - Women's health
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'This ain't your mother's marijuana,' surgeon general says
Federal health officials are issuing a national warning against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women
12:36PM ( 3 minutes ago )
US proposing easing rules on climate-changing oil emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lift Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaks from many oil facilities
12:33PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Trump: Taliban deal close, US troops to drop to 8,600
President Donald Trump says the U.S. plans to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 and then will determine further drawdowns from there
12:30PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: US proposes easing rules on methane emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to revoke many of its regulations covering oil-industry leaks of methane, a potent climate-changing gas
11:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
'This ain't your mother's marijuana," surgeon general says
Federal health officials are issuing a national warning against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women
11:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Cracked iPhone screen? You'll have more places to fix it
There will soon be more places you can get an Apple-sanctioned fix for a cracked iPhone screen. Apple said Thursday that it will offer tools and parts to independent phone-repair shops in the U.S. and later in other countries
11:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Duterte in China amid expectation he'll raise sea disputes
Visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in which the Southeast Asian leader was expected to discuss a ruling on the disputed South China Sea
10:37AM ( 2 hours ago )
Farmers' loyalty to Trump tested over new corn-ethanol rules
Midwest farmers mostly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but their patience is wearing thin over new rules that could cut demand for ethanol from corn.
9:36AM ( 3 hours ago )
Thanks to consumers, US economy is rising steadily if slowly
Thanks to consumers, US economy is rising steadily if slowly
9:35AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Deaths caused by drivers running red lights at 10-year high
The number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high, and AAA is urging drivers and pedestrians to use caution at traffic signals
12:35AM ( 12 hours ago )
'Dramatic resurgence' of measles seen in Europe, WHO reports
The World Health Organization says there has been a "dramatic resurgence" of measles in Europe fueled partly by vaccine refusals
12:27AM ( 12 hours ago )
US agency sees low risk in contaminated blood pressure drugs
US health officials see low risk of cancer from contaminated blood pressure drugs used by millions
10:44PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Health
Administration ends protection for migrant medical care
Trump administration eliminates protection for immigrants seeking medical care
7:44PM ( 2 days ago )
Anti-vaccine activist shoves California lawmaker
An anti-vaccine activist has been cited for assault after pushing a California lawmaker on a sidewalk near the Capitol
7:05PM ( 1 week ago )
UK to pressure social media companies to fight anti-vax info
Britain's government is planning to pressure social media companies to do more to fight misinformation on vaccines following a spike in measles cases
7:19PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
US, France to lead talks on a global digital tax
France and the United States are taking leading roles in talks aimed at reaching a deal on a global digital tax by mid-2020
11:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
US companies in China say they've been hurt by trade war
Collateral damage: US firms in China say they've been hurt by trade war
11:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
European Commission president-elect seeks rebalancing of EU
European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen says that rebalancing the European Union will be a "very important" task for her
11:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Planned Parenthood asks judge to pause Missouri abortion law
Critics of new abortion restrictions in Missouri are headed to court to try to block the law from taking effect on Wednesday
12:08AM ( 3 days ago )
Money crunch after Planned Parenthood quits federal program
Planned Parenthood clinics in several states are charging new fees, tapping financial reserves, intensifying fundraising after it withdrew from a federal funding program rather than comply with a new abortion rule
8:37PM ( 6 days ago )
Planned Parenthood seeks cash after bailing from US program
Planned Parenthood is concerned about the spread of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases after its decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program in a dispute with the Trump administration over abortion
2:57PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Health - Women's health
US proposing easing rules on climate-changing oil emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lift Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaks from many oil facilities
12:33PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Trump: Taliban deal close, US troops to drop to 8,600
President Donald Trump says the U.S. plans to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 and then will determine further drawdowns from there
12:30PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Warsaw sewage plant malfunction contaminates Vistula river
Polish authorities are warning residents in cities along the Vistula river that runs into the Baltic Sea of a "crisis" situation after Warsaw's new sewage collection plant malfunctioned
12:28PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Top figures in French far-right identity group get prison
A court in southeastern France has sentenced the president of the far-right anti-migrant group Generation Identity, its spokesman and a third person to six months in prison for a spectacle-like expedition in the Alps to stop migrants
12:24PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Ukraine's new parliament approves top Cabinet officials
Ukraine's president has urged lawmakers to help liberalize the economy and pursue integration into Europe as the newly-elected parliament met for its opening session
12:12PM ( 27 minutes ago )