Navigation Links
Surge in children accidentally eating marijuana-laced foods
Date:5/27/2013

AURORA, Colo. (May 27, 2013) A new study shows the relaxation of marijuana laws in Colorado has caused a significant spike in the number of young children treated for accidentally eating marijuana-laced cookies, candies, brownies and beverages.

"We have seen an increase in unintentional ingestions of marijuana by children since the modification of drugs laws in Colorado," said George Wang, MD, lead author of the study and clinical instructor in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "We need to educate marijuana users, the community and medical professionals about the potential dangers."

The study, published Monday in the JAMA Pediatrics, compared the number of young children treated at the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency department for ingesting marijuana before and after the modification of Colorado's drug laws beginning in 2009.

A total of 1,378 patients under age 12 were evaluated for unintentional ingestions 790 before Sept. 30, 2009 and 588 after Oct. 1, 2009. The number of children treated for exposure to marijuana before Sept. 30 was zero. The number from Oct. 1 on was 14 with eight of those coming directly from consuming marijuana food products.

Wang, a fellow at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center, said today's marijuana can be much stronger, and these products can contain higher concentrations of THC, the active ingredient in the drug. Some marijuana infused candy bars, for example, contain 300 milligrams of THC. Children who ingested the drug exhibited symptoms that included respiratory problems, extreme sleepiness, difficulty in walking and lethargy. Many underwent a battery of expensive tests to diagnose their problem because the history of exposure was not given, or medical professionals were not familiar with marijuana causing these symptoms.

"Before the marijuana boom these kinds of edibles were not mass-produced and the amount of THC ingested was somewhat limited, but now we are seeing much higher strength marijuana," Wang said. "The key to this is prevention through child resistant packaging."

With that in mind, Wang and Michael Kosnett, MD, MPH, a medical toxicologist and associate clinical professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, recently testified before a state advisory panel. According to Kosnett, they persuaded the panel to recommend child resistant packaging for marijuana edibles.

"Dr. Wang and I worked together to translate his study findings into public policy that would prevent poisoning," said Kosnett, who is also an attending physician at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center, a division of Denver Health. "We were gratified that our message to the governor's Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and the legislature resulted in passage earlier this month of a law requiring the Colorado Department of Revenue to develop rules for child resistant packaging for marijuana products by July 1."

Child resistant packaging, Kosnett said, began with baby aspirin in the 1940s and in several studies has been associated with a 40 to 95 percent decline in pediatric poisonings from oral medications and hazardous household chemicals.

"We know that children will act quickly to ingest even unpalatable items like household cleaners, pills and capsules," he said. "The allure of these marijuana edibles which taste and look like simple sweets makes them especially risky."

So far, no other state has developed similar packaging laws, including Washington which legalized recreational marijuana last year, Kosnett said.

"I believe the experience here in Colorado and the appropriate response by the Colorado Legislature will serve as an example to the rest of the country," he said.

Wang agreed.

"As more states move to legalize marijuana this problem is only going to increase," said Wang. "Now is the time to be proactive and intervene."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Improved material for laser welding of tissue in intestinal surgery
2. Study finds possible alternative to bariatric weight loss surgery
3. Beckers Spine Review Releases List of 50 Spine Surgeons & Specialists Researching Biologics for Spine Treatments
4. What you eat before surgery may affect your recovery
5. Physical activity linked to lower rates of depression in bariatric surgery patients
6. Mussels inspire innovative new adhesive for surgery
7. Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery, (with DVD-ROM)
8. Vaccine offers promise as post-surgery treatment for pancreatic cancer patients
9. Seizures linked to surgery drugs can be prevented by anesthetics, U of T team finds
10. Gastric bypass surgery: Follow up as directed to lose more
11. CCNY landscape architect offers storm surge defense alternatives
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray ... the digital and computed radiography markets in ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an ... as well as regional market drivers and restraints. The ... penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first ... (AHA) announced plans to develop a first of its ... power of IBM Watson. In the first application of ... IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok will create ... health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health ...
(Date:1/25/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... International Airport, New York City , to help ... to enter the United States using passports ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. The ... during January 2016. --> pilot testing of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... cuvettes for over 10 years. What sets them apart from other cuvette ... that is posted on their website. On top of this steady flow of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Mass., Feb. 3, 2016 Harvard Apparatus ... biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening ... announced that CEO Jim McGorry , will ... Conference on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at ... City . HART,s presentation will be webcast ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Resilinc ... summarizes and analyzes nearly 750 unique supply chain notifications and alerts generated by ... , Supply chain risk management practitioners subscribe to the EventWatch service to receive ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... and InGaAs chips and wafers, and InP epi wafers based in Latham, New ... detectors–including photodiodes, photo transistors, and Avalanche photodiodes–to Si and InGaAs PIN photodiodes. But ...
Breaking Biology Technology: