Poison Control and Dispensaries Are on High Alert as The Number of Children Who Consume Edible Marijuana Grows!


The number of calls to Arizona poison control centers from worried parents whose children have eaten edible marijuana thinking it was candy is rising. It was recommended that hospitals be visited by nearly 60% of the 394 children who experienced cannabis-related occurrences last year.

Mild symptoms, such as drowsiness, difficulty walking, or acting “inappropriately,” can occur in children who use cannabis, according to Bryan Kuhn, a pharmacist, and toxicologist at the Banner Health Poison Center in Phoenix. It could always be worse, though.

Sometimes, “they’re so tired that they can’t be awakened,” Kuhn said. Other times, “their respiratory rhythm is slower than normal,” or, in the most extreme cases, “seizures can arise.”

According to Maureen Roland, R.N., who works at poison control centers in both Phoenix and Tucson, around 400 incidents involving children and cannabis were recorded in those cities. The Managing Director of Banner Health.

Roland noted that while many people do visit the emergency room, just a small number require severe care. On rare occasions, we have had to intubate a child by inserting a breathing tube down their throat and keeping them in the intensive care unit overnight.

In line with data from other states, Arizona has seen an increase in accidental poisonings since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2020.

A child’s unintentional ingestion of marijuana has grown after the drug was legalized in several jurisdictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

In Arizona, it is against the law to sell candy or other foods to minors, and packaging must be child-resistant.

Nonetheless, parental education is a crucial aspect of prevention, including keeping cannabis out of reach and being aware of problematic marketing that ends up targeting children, just as it does for other popular, potentially dangerous home goods.

Roland advised, “If you do have these products in your home, you need to handle them as a drug, as medication.”

Illegal to Appeal to Children Across the U.S.

For Example, According to Arizona Dispensaries Association Director Ann Torrez, It Is Against the Law for Edibles to Resemble Products Like Those Marketed Towards Children. THC Is What Gives Marijuana Its Psychoactive Effects.

The Arizona Adult-Use Market “does Not Carry Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms,” Torrez Added. as The Proverb Goes, “if You See that Product, You Know It’s from An Illicit or Unregulated Product.”

Arizona Law Mandates that All Edible Marijuana Be Packaged in Child-Proof Containers During the Manufacturing and Retail Stages.

According to The Network for Public Health Law, Child-Resistant Packaging Is Required by Law in Arizona and 17 Other States Where Recreational Marijuana Is Allowed. Unfortunately, There Are No Uniform Federal Guidelines, and State Guidelines Often Differ.

Although only Three States Mandate Plain Packaging, the Same Number Mandate Security Seals. Thirteen States Have Passed Legislation Prohibiting the Use of Images or Language on Packaging Aimed at Children.

Yet, the Network Reports that Arizona Does Not Mandate Child-Resistant Packaging, Tamper-Evident Packaging, or The Removal of Language or Imagery that Could Appeal to Children on Packaging.

The Arizona Department of Health Services Occasionally Visits Dispensaries to Ensure They Are in Compliance with The Law.

In June 2016, the Fda Published a Statement Saying that It Was Collaborating with Federal and State Officials to Address Concerns About Dangerous Items Marketed Towards Children.

The Fda Has Received Allegations of Counterfeit Items that Look Like Popular Brands Like Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, and Trix.

In a Press Release from June, Then-Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Said, “this Should Be Concerning for All of Us Because What This Packaging Is Plainly Designed to Accomplish, Is to Fool Customers.” “This Looks Like the Breakfast Cereal I Eat, and Our Children Eat It, Not Realising that It Could Be Highly Harmful to Them.”

Educating Parents on Safe Habits

Roland Stated that The Poisonings from Edibles Are Avoidable, and That Young Children Are the Most Susceptible to Temptation.

In Most Cases, Two-Year-Olds Are the Ones Asking Questions. It’s Amazing how Much They Eat,” Roland Observed. if They Are Left Out, the Child Will Inevitably Try to Play with Them, Thus It’s Important to Store Them Somewhere the Kid Can’t Access (like a Locked Box).

Both the Phoenix and Tucson Poison Control Centers, as well as The Arizona Dispensaries Association, Have Joined Forces to Launch an Educational Campaign for Parents on Cannabis Safety and What to Do if Their Child Accidentally Ingests Cannabis.

Customers Can Access a List of Approved Dispensaries and Other Resources by Scanning a Qr Code Displayed on Storefront Windows, as part of The Campaign. According to Torrez, the Organisation Represents Three of Arizona’s Four Legal Dispensaries.

Like with Other Potentially Dangerous Items, Parents Should Store Food in A Secure Location Away from Youngsters.

Kuhn remarked, “they Are Going to Put Items in Their Mouth that They Have Access To, or They Will Replicate Conduct that They See a Parent or Family Member Do.”

According to Kuhn, the Poison Control Center’s Role Is Not to Criticise or Punish Parents, but Rather to Provide Assistance During a Terrifying Time.

Whether It’s a Parent or A Concerned Someone Calling for Themselves, Kuhn Says, “every Phone Call that We Accept Is an Opportunity to Educate and Teach the Callers” About the Preventative Measures that Are Suggested.

A National Study Marks the Increase

The National Poison Data System Was Used for A Study Published in Pediatrics About Edible Marijuana Exposures in Children Younger than 6 Years Old Between 2017 and 2021.

The Study’s Lead Author, Dr. Marit Tweet, Is a Medical Toxicologist at The Southern Illinois School of Medicine. She and Her Colleagues Found that Over 7,000 Children Were Exposed During the Five Years, with Over 3,000 of Those Cases Occurring in 2021.

The Study Concludes that This “presents a Crucial Opportunity for Education and Prevention.”

Parents Have Been Accused of Wrongdoing Rarely. After Her 4-Year-Old Son Tragically Passed Away in May, Dorothy Annette Clements Was Indicted for Murder and Criminal Child Negligence in Virginia in October. According to a statement released by law enforcement, “the child swallowed a substantial number of THC gummies,” and she was not treated promptly enough.

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