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.
"As more states move to legalize marijuana this problem is only going to increase," said Wang. "Now is the time to be
|Contact: David Kelly|
University of Colorado Denver