Edible marijuana that resembles candy is responsible for sending kids to the hospital. In one instance, an 8-year-old boy in Oregon was rushed to the ER after getting his hands on a marijuana cookie at the park. Two kids in Michigan were sent to the ER after rummaging through a man’s stash of gummy candy containing THC, the acting psychoactive component in marijuana.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 25, 2016
Today reports that with the legalization of marijuana in 24 states and the District of Columbia, “edibles” containing the substance are broadly spreading. Children are being affected by this. In 2015, poison control facilities across the nation documented 4,000 kids and teens exposed to marijuana.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, told Today that edible marijuana kids are finding is “extremely dangerous.”
“When young children get a hold of these products, they can have severe reactions, including nausea, vomiting, disorientation, anxiety-like reactions and even psychotic reactions that can make them do things they wouldn’t normally do,” Glatter said.
The Jeff Rossen Reports team of Today legally purchased edibles in Denver, then tested kids and parents by asking them to tell the difference between the pot and regular candy.
Answers from the children and parents were telling. This is a “big problem” that continues to be on the rise.
“You have little kids that accidentally get into this stuff; they don’t know any better,” said Sgt. Jim Gerhardt of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association. “Or a baby sitter might give a child something out of the pantry, not realizing what it is. Those accidental issues are on the rise, and it’s a big problem.”
— 420 NEWS (@42ONEWS) May 1, 2016
Police caution that kids could unwittingly bring the edibles to school and share them among friends. Adults need to be aware that even edible marijuana isn’t inside their homes, their kids could accidentally be ingesting edible marijuana.
“Kids are going to be enticed by this,” Gerhardt said. “They’re going to want to get into this stuff. Banning it’s the only way to deal with it.”
If anyone runs into this problem with children, call Poison Control to speak with an expert at 1-800-222-1222 FREE.
In an April report by the Denver Post, hospitals are on track to see double the kids this year over last year enter the ER due to pot-laced candy. Most of the children admitted are between 3 and 7-years-old.
At this point, 9 kids have been sent to the ER with 7 of them in the intensive care unit. The main side effects kids exhibit after ingesting edible marijuana is extreme sedation and agitation. One kid had enough breathing problems that a respirator was needed.
Between 2013 and 2015, only eight children were sent to a Denver ER.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1366 that requires state regulators to come up with rules that make edible-marijuana products identifiable, including when they’re out of their packaging. Lawmakers suggested that the substances should have a unique stamp or distinct color that clearly separates it from regular candy.
Rep. Frank McNulty chastised the marijuana businesses for producing edible pot that resembles candy or other treats because naturally children would be drawn to them.
“Marijuana edibles are dangerous in the hands of kids,” said McNulty. “That has become all too familiar to the people who work here at Children’s Hospital.”
Other bills put regulations on the amount of marijuana concentrate that stores can sell, create programs designed to reduce prescription-drug abuse, and collect data on school-immunization rates. Additionally, a $10 million grant program is set to help scientists research the medical effectiveness and safety of marijuana.
Gov. Hickenlooper said the bills “are critical to our ongoing goal of making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation and our constant goal of protecting our children.”
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