This recent discovery should serve as a warning for households who keep medical marijuana with children around.
A team of poison control specialists from Colorado released a study to determine the impact of medical marijuana legalization on the incidence of children ingesting pot. The scope of the study included cases of marijuana ingestion by kids aged 8 months to 12 years based on records of a children’s hospital in Colorado from 2005 to 2011.
Marijuana legalization and modified drug enforcement laws were enacted in October 2009. Right after this time, a surge in the number of cases of accidental marijuana ingestion was observed, with the culprit mainly marijuana-laced food such as candies, cookies and brownies, as reported by the Boston Globe.
Dr. George Sam Wang, a pediatrician of the Children’s Hospital Colorado and an affiliate of the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center, led the team of researchers who looked into the trend.
They found out that there were no cases of marijuana ingestion in children from January 2005 to September 2009, right before the marijuana legalization. After that, there were 14 cases of marijuana-related poisoning until the end of 2011. More than half of the cases were due to ingestion of medically-prescribed marijuana. What’s more surprising is that 13 of the 14 cases involved marijuana-laced food products.
Prevention is key, as recommended by the research team. Massachusetts is already verging into a more preventive approach through its recent requirement for child-proof packaging on all marijuana products.