Study Finds Sharp Increase in Marijuana Exposure Among Colorado Children

child in hospitalNew York Times 25 July 2016
Family First Comment: Shocking!
“A study published on Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics says that in Colorado the rates of marijuana exposure in young children, many of them toddlers, have increased 150 percent since 2014, when recreational marijuana products, like sweets, went on the market legally…. During that period, marijuana-related child poison control cases in Colorado rose 34 percent each year, compared with a 19 percent annual increase in other states.”

To a child on the prowl for sweets, that brownie, cookie or bear-shaped candy left on the kitchen counter is just asking to be gobbled up. But in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, notably Colorado, that child may end up with more than a sugar high.

A study published on Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics says that in Colorado the rates of marijuana exposure in young children, many of them toddlers, have increased 150 percent since 2014, when recreational marijuana products, like sweets, went on the market legally.

When children get their hands on the goodies they can become lethargic or agitated, vomit and lose balance, triggering a hospital visit or a frightened call to a poison center. A handful of patients were admitted to intensive care units and intubated.

Rates had started climbing in 2009, when the federal government said it would not prosecute users and suppliers who conformed to Colorado’s medical marijuana laws. Those patients often ingested their prescription marijuana through baked goods.

When voters decided in 2012 to legalize marijuana for recreational use, researchers anticipated that rates of accidental exposure in children would rise.

The number of cases in the study, drawn from Colorado’s poison control data and from one children’s hospital, is modest. Between 2009 and 2015, there were 163 cases documented by the poison control center and 81 patients evaluated at one hospital for pediatric marijuana exposure.

Even so, Dr. Roosevelt said, “While these ingestions are not common, the effects are significant and preventable.” Some cases, she said, could result from secondhand smoke inhalation. The documentation of cause is still evolving.

During that period, marijuana-related child poison control cases in Colorado rose 34 percent each year, compared with a 19 percent annual increase in other states.
READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/health/marijuana-edibles-are-getting-into-colorado-childrens-hands-study-says.html?_r=1

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