The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the most recent organization to recommend the decriminalization and reclassification of cannabis as a less-dangerous drug.
The professional membership organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists, published an update to their 2004 policy statement titled “Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth.”
Since it was originally published, very little research has been done to fully illustrate the powerful effects of cannabinoids for adults with certain conditions. The main reason for the lack of academic research is the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which is defined by the DEA as a drug with high potential for abuse and no medical use in the United States. Other drugs in the Schedule I classification include methaqualone, heroin and LSD.
The most well known cases of the potential benefit of marijuana and children come from the anecdotal evidence of families with children with severe seizures. In September of 2014 the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus began a groundbreaking clinical trial, studying the potential genetic components of children with a form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome in relation to the effect a high-CBD strain of marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web.
Twenty-three states have legalized marijuana for use to treat the symptoms of certain medical conditions, a direct contradiction to the Schedule I definition and the apparent lack of academic, peer-reviewed studies. In response to the continuing changes in public understanding and state legislation, the AAP has revised its previous statement to include ten new conclusions regarding marijuana usages in legalized and medical states.
The organization strongly supports the continued research of CBD, would like to see a review of current policies promoting research on its use and recommend that the federal government reschedule cannabis. Additionally, the AAP supports the decriminalization of marijuana use and recommends pediatricians to advocate for policies that prevent criminal penalties. Instead, they would like to see more of a focus on treatment for youth with who cannabis, suggesting that adolescents with marijuana use problems be referred to treatment.
The recommendation to reclassify cannabis to a Schedule II drug, a division which includes drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, has been echoed by several other major organization in the past year including The American Medical Association as well as the several governors.
Attorney General Eric Holder, noted in a House Appropriations Committee hearing last Spring that the Obama Administration is willing to work with Congress “if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled.”
This announcement comes as a potential solace to the hundreds of families that have fled to Colorado in hopes of finding relief from the severely debilitating and potentially life-threatening illness that plague their children.
Have you had good results managing your symptoms with CBD? Would you like to see more research in this area? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.