On January 26, 2015 the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement on Marijuana Policy and Effects on Youth reaffirming opposition to legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes. The statement cited evidence of harms to youth from use and lack of evidence of efficacy for medical use in children. At the same time, the Council of the District of Columbia has proposed legislation that would establish a system of retail sale and taxation for recreational marijuana use in the District.

Dr. Krishna Upadhya, Chair of DC AAP’s Adolescent Health Working Group, testified at a D.C. Council public roundtable on the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015” (B21-023) on February 9th. The text of the Act can be found here. The proposed legislation would establish a process for retail sales of marijuana products to individuals over age 21 in the District. According to the bill, individuals under age 21 who were found to purchase marijuana at a retail store would be subject to a drug-education program within 1 year unless the program is unnecessary or unavailable. Retail sites found to have sold to an individual under 21 would be subject to monetary penalties and could have license revoked after 3 violations. The legislation states that products must not be labeled or packaged to market to youth, however no additional detail regarding other marketing or how this restriction will be evaluated or enforced is included in the text.

Watch video of Dr. Upadhya’s testimony
(Dr. Upadhya’s testimony begins at approximately 41:58)

See a WJLA news story about the hearing

View Dr. Upadhya’s written testimony