More children are getting sick with the number of states that have legalized marijuana.

Between the years 2017 and 2021, poison control centers around the country received reports of over 7,000 confirmed incidents of children younger than 6 years old consuming edible forms of marijuana.

WASHINGTON — According to a study that was released on Tuesday, the number of young children, especially toddlers, who ingested marijuana-laced snacks by accident increased substantially over the course of five years as marijuana became legal in more regions in the United States.

Between the years 2017 and 2021, more than 7,000 confirmed cases of children younger than six eating edible forms of marijuana were reported to the nation’s poison control centers. This represents an increase from approximately 200 to more than 3,000 incidents per year.

According to a new study that was published in the journal Pediatrics, about one quarter of the youngsters ended up being hospitalized, and several of them were in critical condition.

And those are just the examples that have been documented, according to Dr. Marit Tweet, a medical toxicologist from the Southern Illinois School of Medicine who led the research team that conducted the study.

More states have passed legislation to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use, which has coincided with an increase in the number of reports of children consuming cannabis-infused edibles including candy, chocolate, and cookies. At this time, 37 states in the United States allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, while 21 states regulate the use of marijuana for recreational purposes by adults.

Tweet made a plea for increased vigilance on the part of parents and for additional legislation along the lines of that which has already been passed by a number of states to make it more difficult for children to obtain marijuana products, which are frequently packaged to resemble candies and other snacks that are marketed to children.

“When it’s in a candy form or cookies, people don’t think of it in the same way as household chemicals or other things a child could get into,” she said. “When it’s in a candy form or cookies, people don’t think of it in the same way as other things a child could get into.” “However, folks really ought to consider that they are taking a drug.”

Reports that were submitted to the National Poison Data System, which is comprised of the nation’s 55 regional poison control centers, were evaluated by Tweet and her colleagues. According to the findings of the study, more than half of the children were toddlers, meaning they were between the ages of 2 and 3. Over ninety percent obtained the foods in their own homes.

She said that they were the ones who were beginning to investigate their surroundings, as well as stand up and walk around.

The researchers were able to follow up on the results of roughly 5,000 instances out of a total of more than 7,000 reports. They discovered that about 600 children, which is equivalent to about 8% of the total, were admitted to critical care units, the majority of the time with slowed breathing or even coma. More than a third of patients were seen in emergency rooms, and about 15% were admitted to other types of care besides critical. The most common symptoms included drowsiness, difficulty breathing, a rapid heart rate, and vomiting.

According to Dr. Brian Schultz, a pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, the findings do not come as a surprise at all. He has stated that during his time working at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., he and his fellow medical professionals handled children who had used edible forms of marijuana “nearly on a daily basis.”

The last two years of the research, which coincided with the COVID-19 epidemic, saw an increase in both the number of reports and hospitalizations. Tweet stated that there were more children at home, which meant that there were more opportunity to locate cannabis delights. She went on to say that because marijuana is now legal in many more places, parents may have felt less shame while seeking assistance from poison control centers and health care providers.

STL 420 News
Author: STL 420 News