Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

More kids accidentally ingesting MJ following new drug policies

Posted by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM
  • 23 Replies

More Kids Accidentally Ingesting Marijuana Following New Drug Policies

At least 18 states allow medical marijuana, and the likelihood that more kids will encounter it at home only increases with Colorado and Washington’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana.

Beginning nearly four years ago, the federal government decided not to investigate those involved in using and distributing medical marijuana who complied with state laws; the more lenient stand spurred a boom in dispensaries and requests for personal use in states where it was allowed.

But around that time, doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado noticed kids were coming into the emergency room after accidentally ingesting marijuana. Were the cases directly due to the fact that young children were finding more marijuana at home, or were the doctors simply more aware of the exposures because of the more relaxed policies?

To find out, they analyzed emergency room visits for kids under 12 seen for poisonings and ingestions of any kind between 2005 to 2011, using the fall of 2009 — when new enforcement guidelines were issued — as a dividing line.

From Jan. 2005 through Sept. 2009, there were no marijuana-related visits among 790 patients, according to the research, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics. Between Oct. 2009 to Dec. 2011, however, 14 of 588 children were seen for marijuana exposure — eight involving medical marijuana and seven from food containing the drug.

The researchers say that homemade brownies speckled with pot may not pose a significant threat to kids, but commercial products formulated for medical use — as well as loose-leaf marijuana grown for medicinal purposes — could be more concerning, since they contain concentrated amounts of THC, the chemical that induces a high.

“They’re sold as edible products and soft drinks that kids will eat or drink because they don’t know it’s any different,” says Dr. George Wang, the study’s lead author and a medical toxicology fellow at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. “If they’re going to eat a whole cookie with 300 mg of THC, they will get much more symptomatic and sick and have to be admitted to the hospital.”

Tracing the poisonings to marijuana, however, wasn’t always easy. In some cases, parents didn’t want to admit or didn’t know that their child had gotten into their marijuana stash; in several cases, the marijuana belonged to grandparents. Young children who are exposed to high levels of THC can hallucinate, be difficult to arouse and have trouble breathing — symptoms that can be hard to narrow down. At least one child had an unnecessary lumbar puncture and another underwent a CT scan while doctors tried to pinpoint the cause of the problems..

(MORE: Don’t Eat Daddy’s Cookies: How to Talk to Your Kids About Pot)

“We’re in this new age of allowing marijuana and we are seeing things we haven’t seen before,” says Wang, who is also a clinical instructor in the department of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “We need to educate families to keep it out of the reach of kids. Treat it like a drug because it is a drug.”

Parents aren’t the only ones who need to be more vigilant about the potential new risks of marijuana exposure, however. Researchers who wrote an editorial accompanying the study called for more training of pediatricians and emergency medicine physicians, who aren’t necessarily able to recognize toxic reactions to marijuana, particularly among young children, because they aren’t expecting high dose THC exposure in patients so young.

In Colorado, where voters recently legalized recreational marijuana use, Wang and a Poison Control colleague persuaded the legislature to include wording to require child-resistant packaging for edible marijuana products in a bill about marijuana regulation. If the bill passes, Wang believes Colorado would be the first state to require such measures, though a doctor from Boston Children’s Hospital recently testified to the Massachusetts legislature about the need for similar requirements. “It’s hard to argue with,” says Wang. “It’s common sense.”

More packaging could drive up costs, but Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, a Colorade-based medical marijuana purveyor, is on board with the proposal.

“As a parent and a businessperson, I wholeheartedly support the legislation,” says Christie Lunsford, who as Dixie’s marketing director is overseeing its plans for upgraded packaging. “We take this issue so seriously.”

In July, the state is expected to release its preliminary requirements for new packaging. But Dixie has already informed its packaging provider that it intends to place orders for child-proof containers so that no unsuspecting tots are tempted by its medicated chocolate truffles, which Dixie’s website describes as offering “sweet, creamy relief” or their crispy rice treats, in which the classic, nostalgic match of gooey marshmallow and crispy, puffed rice gets a euphoric lift.” With the range of tempting marijuana-laced foods likely to increase, such pre-emptive strategies for protecting young children from potentially dangerous exposures — just as they’re safeguarded from prescription and over-the-counter medications — seems to make sense.

(MORE: Pot Is Legal in Washington: Q&A with the Man Who Is Making Weed Legit)


by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Yes, as with any drug, responsibility of the person using it must be implemented. I don't see how this is surprising.
meriana
by Ruby Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM
1 mom liked this
Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.
lga1965
by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM

 

Quoting meriana:

Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.

 Exactly. But that is "wishful thinking", denial, etc. because....MJ is the miracle drug, the answer to all of our problems,doncha know. Sure. The idea of even "Medical marijuana " in a home with kids worries me. These MJ users aren't the most alert and watchful people. Just sayin' ......

Ok I'm ready for the bashing.

EireLass
by Ruby Member on May. 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

If you're using it medically, why wouldn't you keep it out of the kids reach, like the rest of medicine?

If you're using it recreationally....they most likely had it in their reach before being legal.

ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM
So, should we make all things that could be ingested by children illegal?


Quoting lga1965:

 


Quoting meriana:

Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.

 Exactly. But that is "wishful thinking", denial, etc. because....MJ is the miracle drug, the answer to all of our problems,doncha know. Sure. The idea of even "Medical marijuana " in a home with kids worries me. These MJ users aren't the most alert and watchful people. Just sayin' ......


Ok I'm ready for the bashing.


talia-mom
by on May. 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

And  my friends and I had access to all sorts of pills in HS because her doctor dad got all these samples.


Amazing what 4 valium and a couple of beers will do a 98 pound 15 year old.

lga1965
by on May. 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

 No, but we should make pot smokers liable for any damage to their children due to their irresponsible and neglectful behavior.  Same goes for any prescription medications....(and guns left out for kids to play with).Punishment should fit the crime and being the cause of any child's accidental ingestion of any pills or pot or damage or death from a gun should be a crime. Too many children are victims. And too many parents are defended by shyster lawyers and are not sufficiently punished.

Quoting ashellbell:

So, should we make all things that could be ingested by children illegal?


Quoting lga1965:

 


Quoting meriana:

Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.

 Exactly. But that is "wishful thinking", denial, etc. because....MJ is the miracle drug, the answer to all of our problems,doncha know. Sure. The idea of even "Medical marijuana " in a home with kids worries me. These MJ users aren't the most alert and watchful people. Just sayin' ......


Ok I'm ready for the bashing.


 

talia-mom
by on May. 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM


There is no damage from smoking pot, especially if you vaporize it.

Quoting lga1965:

 No, but we should make pot smokers liable for any damage to their children due to their irresponsible and neglectful behavior.  Same goes for any prescription medications....(and guns left out for kids to play with).Punishment should fit the crime and being the cause of any child's accidental ingestion of any pills or pot or damage or death from a gun should be a crime. Too many children are victims. And too many parents are defended by shyster lawyers and are not sufficiently punished.

Quoting ashellbell:

So, should we make all things that could be ingested by children illegal?


Quoting lga1965:

 


Quoting meriana:

Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.

 Exactly. But that is "wishful thinking", denial, etc. because....MJ is the miracle drug, the answer to all of our problems,doncha know. Sure. The idea of even "Medical marijuana " in a home with kids worries me. These MJ users aren't the most alert and watchful people. Just sayin' ......


Ok I'm ready for the bashing.


 



ashellbell
by shellbark on May. 29, 2013 at 12:14 PM
I agree that someone should be held responsible, it just doesn't make sense to me that people are more outraged by this drug than any other.


Quoting lga1965:

 No, but we should make pot smokers liable for any damage to their children due to their irresponsible and neglectful behavior.  Same goes for any prescription medications....(and guns left out for kids to play with).Punishment should fit the crime and being the cause of any child's accidental ingestion of any pills or pot or damage or death from a gun should be a crime. Too many children are victims. And too many parents are defended by shyster lawyers and are not sufficiently punished.


Quoting ashellbell:

So, should we make all things that could be ingested by children illegal?



Quoting lga1965:


 



Quoting meriana:

Not in any way surprising. When legalization first came up I mentioned this possibility along with teens sneaking it from their parents stash and I was basically told I was completely wrong, it wouldn't happen. yeah, ok.


 Exactly. But that is "wishful thinking", denial, etc. because....MJ is the miracle drug, the answer to all of our problems,doncha know. Sure. The idea of even "Medical marijuana " in a home with kids worries me. These MJ users aren't the most alert and watchful people. Just sayin' ......



Ok I'm ready for the bashing.



 


LAHnTAH0812
by Bronze Member on May. 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Concentrated thc products should be child proof. Marijuana should be kept away from kids like alcohol or otc drugs.

Common sense, folks.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)