Soon after the legalization of cannabis, plenty of reports of marijuana exposure in children appeared in Colorado.
The opinion is sustained by scientific facts, as a study published in JAMA Pediatrics an increase in the number of kids showing at the clinic with symptoms related to marijuana consumption.
When comparing the two years before and the two years after cannabis legalization, the number of children younger than ten who came to the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora raised from an average of 8 to 16.
In the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, the cases rose from 18 to 43 after legalization.
As for emergency rooms visits, the percentage remained low, showing a small increase after 2014.
The lack of urgency in the intoxication cases means that the harm is not always serious. Even if there had been many children taken by their parents to clinical hospitals, they were not always admitted, and even if they were admitted they usually stayed for an average of only 26 hours.
Out of the cases that had been presented to the doctors, only 3% proved to have significant effects. Most of the symptoms were dizziness and drowsiness. The more serious conditions involved vomiting, agitation, muscle rigidity, rapid heart rate, respiratory depression or seizures.
The most common source of intoxication was marijuana edibles, and the median age of the kids was around two.
The increase in hospital consultations may be due to the fact that people are more open to reporting marijuana exposures after the legalization. Moreover, the hospital staff is more aware of the complications and effects of the substance.
There is another factor involved, and that is the increased availability of marijuana products. The edibles include cookies, candy, and brownies, which are very appealing to children. The doctors say that most of the increase is due to the legalization of recreational marijuana, as before the medical marijuana did not provoke as many cases of exposure in children.
The poison center calls increased with 34% in 2015 after the legalization of recreational marijuana when compared with 2009, the year when medical marijuana became legal.
The authorities of Colorado and Washington have installed warning labels and required child-resistant packaging. They also forbade the products with shapes that may attract children.
However, the matter remains a parental responsibility. In most cases, the marijuana product was left outside its original package and had been improperly stored.
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