More than 20 states have legalized marijuana in the United States, but that does not make it any less of a complicated topic. A new poll reveals that Americans are not keen on medical marijuana being used by children, or even being used around them.
The Mott National Poll on Children's Health represented a national sample of adults in the United States—10 percent of which either have a marijuana card or know someone who does.
Almost two-thirds of people believe that medical marijuana should be used by adults, but only half as many (a third) believe that children should use it.
Most adults (80 percent) also believe that marijuana should not be used in the presence of children, and that belief was especially strong among adults with children under the age of 18. This is not entirely surprising because the number of children who have mistakenly ingested medical marijuana products has increased as the amount of prescriptions have increased.
This poll comes only a few months after the American Academy of Pediatrics updated it's policy on medical marijuana and acknowledged that it could be beneficial for children with "debilitating or life-limiting diseases."
"Our findings suggest that not only is the public concerned about the use of medical marijuana among children, but that the majority of Americans worry that even exposure to it may be harmful to kids' health," says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., professor and director of the National Poll on Children's Health. "As is typical with anything involving health, the public's standards are much higher when it comes to protecting children's health."
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
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Image: Medical marijuana via Shutterstock