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Public Health

American Medical Association: Questions still surround cannabis use and public health

We remain particularly concerned about cannabis use by young people as well as by pregnant or breastfeeding women, and continue to call for robust public health messaging on the deleterious health effects of cannabis. In states that have already legalized cannabis, the AMA believes jurisdictions should take steps to regulate the product effectively to protect public health and safety... Approval and use of any drug must be based on sound, evidence-based scientific research. Our AMA believes that in the case of cannabis, that burden has not yet been met.

Scientific research has identified a range of adverse effects of marijuana use strongly associated with initial use of marijuana in adolescence and young adulthood. These include, altered brain development, addiction, serious mental health problems, cognitive impairment, poor educational outcomes, increased likelihood of dropping out of school, and diminished life satisfaction and achievement based on subjective and objective measures.

The history of major multinational corporations using aggressive marketing strategies to increase and sustain tobacco and alcohol use illustrates the risks of corporate domination of a legalized cannabis market... Non-commercial models of legalization have been proposed to reduce the harms of the illegal market while minimizing potential harms of commercialization, including the risk of regulatory capture and other practices that may increase hazardous use and use by minors.

Because public health regulations are often in direct conflict with the interests of profit-driven corporations, it is important to protect the policy process from industry influence.

Avoiding a privatized marijuana market and the associated pressures to increase consumption in order to maximize profits would likely lead to lower consumer demand, consumption, and prevalence, even among youth, and would reduce the associated public health harm. 

Vaping cannabis is another popular way of getting high since it’s virtually smokeless and odorless. As a result, students have become more emboldened to vape cannabis extracts in and around school. The cannabis available for pods can be extremely potent. The hallucinatory ingredient (THC) in the cannabis used today is often two to three times more potent than it was in previous generations.

Vaping pods are also ideal for housing a distilled form of cannabis called Butane Hash Oil (BHO) or “dabs.”

Health Impacts


The IASIC medical  library contains  peer reviewed medical literature about marijuana/ cannabis that is translated into terminology that allows for informed decision making by the general public.

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