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Surgeon General Warns Marijuana Is Risky, Legal or Not

New advisory warns teenagers and pregnant women
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2019 5:17 PM CDT
Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a new advisory Thursday.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – Marijuana is increasingly legal in the US, but the surgeon general says that sends a misleading message. "While the perceived harm of marijuana is decreasing, the scary truth is that the actual potential for harm is increasing," Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday, NPR reports, in announcing a new advisory for teenagers and pregnant women. He said use is increasing among both groups. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women, Adams said, and it trails only alcohol and e-cigarettes among adolescents, per CNN. "No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe," he said.

Part of the reason, Adams said, is that marijuana has gotten stronger, with the THC concentration at least tripling in the past few decades. HHS Secretary Alex Azar, who joined the announcement, said, "This advisory makes clear that marijuana poses substantial risks to the developing brain." Both officials were appointed by President Trump and have ties to pharmaceutical companies, Newsweek points out. They were critical in their news conference of the movement to make marijuana legal, which 33 states have done, either for recreational or medical purposes. The Trump administration has opposed those efforts, and Attorney General William Barr has said he supports a federal law making marijuana illegal in all states. (Read more marijuana stories.)

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