With marijuana use exploding in line with a legalization movement sweeping the nation, many people are pitching cannabis as an all-natural medicine to help with medical conditions or a “safe” alternative to traditional intoxicants like alcohol.
But scientists and doctors say things aren’t that simple — and a belief that exposing children to marijuana, either directly or indirectly, is harmless isn’t supported by the facts.
US News reports on a December study published in the journal Pediatric Research examining Colorado children who were diagnosed with a lower respiratory infection called bronchiolitis. Of the 43 children studied, 16 percent had been exposed to marijuana smoke, and many had also been exposed to tobacco smoke.
Dr. Karen Wilson, the division chief of general pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, had previously studied the risks of secondhand tobacco smoke in children in Colorado. She reported that her team had seen a change in attitudes about marijuana smoke.