A group of 62,000 pediatricians said that marijuana should be decriminalized and that the drug should be reclassified under federal law.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a new policy statement, “strongly supports the decriminalization of marijuana use” and “encourages pediatricians to advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”

The group also recommends “changing marijuana from a Drug Enforcement Administration schedule I to a schedule II drug” to facilitate more research on its medical benefits.

While the group remains opposed to legalizing and regulating marijuana, its call for an end to the criminalization of use is a significant shift from its last position statement on the topic, which was released in 2004.

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