Pediatricians say Amendment 64 is wrong

DENVER -- The Colorado Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors has voted to add their name to an open letter being released by several Colorado pediatricians warning that Amendment 64 poses an unacceptable risk to Colorado kids. The letter includes signatures from Kristine Knutti Rodrigues, MD, Kathryn Wells, MD, and Claudia Kunrath, MD.

The women that signed the letter analyzed all the effects of marijuana on children. In the letter, it states, “Regardless of your feelings about marijuana, we, as pediatricians, feel it is important to know about how marijuana legalization can affect children and teenagers and the increased risks they could face if Amendment 64 passes.”

The letter had many statistics about the effects of marijuana. Since the medical marijuana dispensaries have been operating since 2009, there have been a lot more accidental ingestions of marijuana by young children in Colorado. Between October 2009 and December 2011, there were 14 children (ages 8 months-12 years) that were seen for accidental marijuana ingestions at Children’s Hospital in Colorado. Of the 14, 9 were documented to having exposure to someone else’s medical marijuana, 8 were hospitalized, and 2 were required to the intensive care unit.

The chronic use of marijuana before age 15 can lead to worse neurocognitive functioning, like the ability to think, reason, and work later in life. At that age, a young teenager puts vulnerable individuals at increased risk of developing psychosis. Compared to 2007-2008, there have been 15 more fatal car crashes involving a driver under the influence of marijuana in 2009-2010.

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