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The Surgeon General recently issued a warning against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women because of the negative effects of marijuana on the developing brain.

“No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in his advisory. “Until and unless more is known about the long-term impact, the safest choice for pregnant women and adolescents is not to use marijuana.” The report points to recent increases in access to marijuana and in its increased potency, along with misperceptions of the safety of marijuana, for endangering the nation’s youth.

Marijuana grown today contains varying levels of THC, the component responsible for euphoria and intoxication. The THC concentration in commonly cultivated marijuana plants increased three-fold between 1995 and 2014, from 4% to 12%, with marijuana sold in dispensaries in some states containing THC levels between 17.7% and 23.2%, and even much higher for some concentrated products.

“No matter what your opinion is about marijuana use, the Surgeon General’s Advisory confirms there is no safe level of marijuana for pregnant women or for youth,” said Health Officer Bob Stephens. “Our youth’s developing brains are too valuable not to protect them from the damaging effects of not only marijuana, but any drugs.”

The advisory is intended to raise awareness of the known and potential harms to developing brains, posed by the increasing availability of highly potent marijuana in multiple, concentrated forms. “These harms are costly to individuals and to our society, impacting mental health and educational achievement and raising the risks of addiction and misuse of other substances,” the advisory continues.

Visit http://bit.ly/brainadvisory to read the Surgeon General’s complete advisory. For more information about marijuana prevention visit SpreadTheFacts.com or call the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334-7730 or 301-895-3111.