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article imageCanadian Pediatrics says medical marijuana not safe for children

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 14, 2015 in Health
The Canadian Paediatric Society issued a policy statement Monday warning against treating children with medical marijuana. It said "anecdotal" cases suggest it may help in rare instances but scientific data showing it to be safe or effective is lacking.
Paediatrics: Marijuana risky
The CPS issued the statement, it said, in part because of recent stories of parents detailing how the drug helped children, primarily kids suffering from epilepsy.
Dr. Michael Rieder is the chair of the CPS's drug therapy and hazardous substances committee and he authored the statement.
Dr. Rieder said there is "little data to support either the efficacy or safety of cannabis use" and the federal government should look again at rules governing the prescribing of medical marijuana and continue researching it as a health product.
He called marijuana a "potent psychoactive drug."
"To imagine medical marijuana is risk-free is delusional," Dr. Rieder wrote. "Is it an option for some children? Probably. But drug use should be guided by best principles of use and risk."
Anecdotal evidence
In a story on the CPS stance, The Globe and Mail noted the story of Sandra Wilkinson and her daughter, Mia. In 2013 when Mia was eight, Wilkinson extracted the oil from dried marijuana leaves she bought from a licensed marijuana grower in Alberta after obtaining a prescription from a doctor.
She said Mia was helped so much by marijuana she stopped having seizures altogether. But the doctor who gave them the prescription would not renew it, saying he could not do so because of the Alberta Health Services policy.
Ms. Wilkinson travelled to St. Catharines, Ont. for a prescription at the Canadian Cannabis Clinic and continued to administer marijuana oil to her daughter, she said to great effect.
The CPS called such cases "anecdotal" and said they do not mean the drug is safe for children and physicians should not prescribe it without having expertise in its research and effects.
There have been a plethora of studies in recent years that have found marijuana is dangerous for teenagers but there is a dearth of data on marijuana and young children.
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