Recent state and federal policy changes have allowed for more widespread legalized medical marijuana use in Colorado. At the time of the study, only 41 adolescents in the state held valid registry identification cards for medical marijuana. This suggests adolescents using medical marijuana are more likely to get it from adult registered users than from peers.
The study also calls into question the adequacy of the safeguards meant to prevent medical marijuana use by individuals to whom it was not recommended, adolescents in particular. As the study authors note, medical marijuana in Colorado is not handled like other medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once approved for medical marijuana usage, individuals can purchase different amounts or even grow a personal supply.
The article "Medical Marijuana Use Among Adolescents in Substance Abuse Treatment" by Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Joseph T. Sakai, Christian Thurstone, Robin Corley, Christian Hopfer, appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume 51, Issue 7 (July 2012), published by Elsevier.
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA-011015) with additional support provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit our online newsroom.
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