Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jul 2016
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2016 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Lindsay Kalter


A new study shows marijuana poisoning in young children has risen 150 
percent in Colorado since the substance was legalized in 2014 - a 
frightening statistic that has opponents of the Bay State legal 
marijuana ballot initiative warning that the same could happen in 

"The edible products for the marijuana industry are a huge part of 
the profit and growth model," said Rep. Hannah Kane, of the Campaign 
for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts' steering committee. "Children 
are highly susceptible to these products."

According to the study published by the JAMA Pediatrics Journal 
Monday, the mean rate of marijuana poisoning increased at Children's 
Hospital in Denver from 1.2 per 100,000 two years before legalization 
to 2.3 per 100,000 after legalization.

The majority of those cases involved children who had ingested 
marijuana edibles.

The Bay State ballot initiative would also authorize edibles, with no 
cap on potency.

Dr. Sharon Levy, director of the adolescent substance abuse program 
at Boston Children's Hospital, said excessive marijuana exposure can 
cause psychotic episodes for both children and adults.

The long-term effects for young kids are unknown.

"They could have acute psychotic reactions, which is why they would 
need to be admitted to intensive care units in some cases," she said. 
"They have a change of mental status and become very lethargic."

And after eating large amounts of pot candy such as gummy bears and 
cookies, the effects will be more severe in children because they are 
small, said Steven Little, chairman of chemical and petroleum 
engineering at University of Pittsburgh.

"What you have to realize is, you're talking about children," said 
Little, who researches drug release. "When drugs absorb into the 
body, it matters how big you are."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom