USA: Top Officials Sound Alarm on Pots Powerful Potential for Harm!

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Top Administration Officials Sound Alarm on “Mounting Body of Evidence” of Sweeping Harms of Marijuana Normalization on Pregnant Women and Youth 
HHS Secretary: “Some state’s laws on marijuana may have changed, but the science has not, and the federal law has not.” 
(Alexandria, VA) –  In the most significant event on marijuana policy during the Trump Administration, today the Department of Health and Human Services issued significant warnings regarding the physical and mental health implications of marijuana commercialization. During a press conference about marijuana broadly, government officials decried the normalization of marijuana and the harmful messages Americans are receiving on the drug.

Additionally, the US Surgeon General  released an advisory  to the public concerning the damaging effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and on young, developing brains. In response, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) president, Dr. Kevin Sabet, released the following statement:

“Just like the famous advisory on tobacco in 1964, the significance of today’s marijuana advisory cannot be overstated. As the Surgeon General stated, ‘no amount of marijuana is safe for pregnant women or our youth.’ Big Marijuana and its promoters have consistently pushed blatant falsehoods and misinformation to suggest marijuana is safe, despite the large and growing of evidence to the contrary. Administration officials should be applauded for finally shining a light on the harms of today’s high potent marijuana.
“We know marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to a wide range of harms including low birth weight and developmental problems. Even worse, marijuana use during pregnancy has been linked to a rare, fatal developmental disorder known as  anencephaly. Marijuana can have incredibly deleterious effects on young minds and it is absolutely shameful, though not surprising, that the industry would push its wares and pseudo-science on young mothers.
“Last year,  70% of dispensaries in Colorado were recommending high potency THC products to expectant mothers to ‘treat’ symptoms of morning sickness. Given the fact that these dispensaries are not staffed with medical professionals, this is greatly concerning.  A large study from Canada looking at marijuana and pregnancy found negative effects well after birth:
“Youth marijuana use is greatly concerning. A recent  study found that one in five youth and one in 10 young adults who started using marijuana within the past 3 years have been diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder. Regular use of marijuana has been linked to IQ loss, psychosis, depression, and suicide.
“We look forward to working with HHS and other federal government officials to help raise awareness to the harmful health impacts of marijuana commercialization and use. The future of our country depends on it.”
About SAM:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana  (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen  a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.

Marijuana is not a harmless drug. View the stories of its victims here.

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit

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