Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Teens Using Diverted Medical Marijuana

Three out of four adolescents in substance abuse treatment used someone else’s medical marijuana, often dozens of times each, according to a study of 164 young people in the Denver area. “Recent policy changes have led to an explosion in the number of registered medical marijuana users in Colorado and this study reveals that many high-risk adolescent patients have used diverted medical marijuana,” wrote Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, and colleagues in the July Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Teens using medical marijuana also report earlier onset of marijuana use, more abuse and dependence symptoms, and more conduct disorder symptoms than those who don't use someone else's medical marijuana. “[M]edical marijuana diversion is a serious concern and...future policy and regulation changes regarding medical marijuana should account for this important negative consequence.... ” said the researchers.

To read more about adolescent marijuana use and its treatment, see Psychiatric News here.
(Image: Andre Blais/


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