For Immediate Release

Contact: Rob Grant, Communications Director
202.966.7300, Ext. 119

Samantha Phillips, Communications Coordinator
202.966.7300, Ext. 154

AACAP Releases Updated Policy Statement on Marijuana Legalization

Washington, DC, October 10, 2017 – The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is pleased to release an updated policy statement on marijuana legalization. As the policy statement asserts, AACAP advocates for careful consideration of potential immediate and downstream effects of marijuana policy changes on children and adolescents.

Marijuana legalization, even if restricted to adults, may be associated with (a) decreased adolescent perception of marijuana's harmful effects, (b) increased marijuana use among parents and caretakers, and (c) increased adolescent access to marijuana, all of which reliably predict increased rates of adolescent marijuana use and associated problems.

AACAP is aware that, among hundreds of chemical constituents, marijuana contains select individual compounds that, if safely administered in reliable doses, may potentially convey therapeutic effects for specific conditions in specific populations. AACAP remains focused on concerns regarding adolescent marijuana use.

Read more on AACAP's position:

AACAP Policy Statement, "Marijuana Legalization ("

The necessity and the timeliness of this resource cannot be understated. By declaring a strong stance on this current topic, AACAP aims to improve the health of youth everywhere.

Our policy statements are created to demonstrate the opinions of the organization, based on the input of our member experts. This policy statement in particular expresses AACAP's support of (a) initiatives to increase awareness of marijuana's harmful effects on adolescents, (b) improved access to evidence-based treatment for adolescents with marijuana-related problems, and (c) careful monitoring of the effects of marijuana-related policy changes on child and adolescent mental health. In addition, AACAP strongly advocates for the involvement of the medical and research community in these critical and highly impactful policy-related discussions.

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Representing 9,200+ child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children's mental health.

AACAP Members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents and their families. For more information please visit