Over 40 Massachusetts doctors and scientists have banned together to speak out about the lack of public knowledge surrounding the dangerous risks of commercial marijuana.

The risks include addiction, cognitive impairment and mental illness.

Released by the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance (MAPA) and authored by a consortium of clinicians, The Statement of Concern argues that Massachusett’s marijuana policy favors commercial gain over public health and regulates the drug like any other “ordinary commodity.”

The statement discusses many negative impacts of the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, THC.

Dr. Safdar Medina, a pediatrician at UMass Memorial Health Care and a contributor to the statement of concern, stated, “It’s not just pot, and it’s not just experimentation, but there’s a real risk. The marijuana that these kids are using is a lot more potent than what was around 30 years ago.”

“Marijuana is a gateway drug just like alcohol is a gateway drug,” added Medina. “We know that teenage marijuana users can develop long-term depression, anxiety or psychosis.”

According to the report in the Boston Herald, “MAPA is calling for regulation of the commercial marijuana market using public health initiatives for prevention campaigns, smoke-free laws, potency limits and warning labels on marijuana products.”

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