WASHINGTON - As easy access to marijuana becomes more prevalent...with 33 states allowing it for either medical or medical and recreational purposes...the nation’s top public health official is issuing a warning.
"No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe," said Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General at a news conference Thursday.
This after studies showed significant increases in marijuana use by young adults, and that the use of marijuana by pregnant women doubled between 2002 and 2017 from 3.4% to 7%.
“Over and over again I hear a great and rising concern about the rapid normalization of marijuana use and the impact its false perception of its safety is having on young people and on pregnant women," Adams said.
President Trump has even weighed in, donating his salary from this quarter - $100,000, to fund the digital communications campaign warning people about the dangers of marijuana.
“The mission is to educate. We're a public health agency. We have data. The Surgeon General’s advisory is not ideological; it’s about data," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
He also warned THC levels in marijuana have also gone up making the drug far more potent, and can slow brain development in babies in utero and teens.
"They suffer from things like IQ decline, psychosis more frequent suicidality," Azar said in an interview Thursday.
In a statement, The Cannabis Trade Federation responded:
“The cannabis industry shares the view of most Americans that cannabis use should be limited to adults and medical patients. In states where cannabis is regulated for adult or medical use, cannabis businesses have demonstrated a commitment to restricting sales to minors and following strict rules designed to prevent youth access to cannabis products. Federal and state survey data suggest these efforts are working, and a growing body of evidence shows no increases in teen use rates have stemmed from states’ decisions to regulate cannabis for adult or medical use. In fact, a recent study in JAMA Pediatrics found a significant decrease in teen use in legalized states. Further, by regulating cannabis and taking it out of the illegal market, it creates opportunities to educate consumers about the effects of cannabis use, such as packaging and labeling that can convey specific warnings to individuals who may be at increased risk.”