Study: States That Legalized Marijuana Saw Uptick In Kids Ingesting Drugs

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are warning about an increase in accidental ingestion of marijuana by children.

The study relies on National Poison Data System figures from 2000-2017. Up until 2008, the number of incidents involving kids was mostly flat at about 80 cases a year.

Since then, however, it increased by slightly more than 25% a year on average. According to the study, “during this period of increase, more than 70% of these ingestions occurred in states with legislation legalizing marijuana.”

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Marijuana candy sickens 19 at quinceanera

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Edible Marijuana Overdoses Reported to US Poison Control Centers on Rise

Researchers published in the Journal, Clinical Toxicology, analyzed exposure calls coded to marijuana edibles that were reported to the National Poison Data System from January 2013 to December 2015. Four-hundred and thirty calls were reported.

The two states that had implemented recreational marijuana legalization by then had the most exposures:

Colorado—166, or 1.05 per 100,000
Washington—96, or .46 per 100,000

Three-hundred and eighty-one (91%) calls occurred in states with medical and recreational marijuana, and the number of calls increased each year of the study. The age groups with the most calls were children less than five years old (109 calls) and adolescents ages 13-19 (78 calls).

The researchers speculate that increasing edibles exposures may be related to delayed absorption of THC, lack of packaging regulations, increased availability of edibles in legal states, and increased familiarity of poison control center specialists with edible products to code events properly.

Read “Characterization of Edible Marijuana Product Exposures Reported to United States Poison Centers