By David Sack
In states where medical and recreational cannabis sales are allowed, disquieting new trends and statistics are proving its unique dangers for those most vulnerable to its effects: children.
One such statistic is a spike in calls to poison-control centers. According to the National Poison Data System, calls about accidental ingestion of marijuana in children 9 and younger more than tripled in states that decriminalized marijuana before 2005.
In states that enacted legalization from 2005 to 2011, calls increased nearly 11.5 percent per year. Over the same period in states without decriminalization laws, the call rate stayed the same. In the decriminalized states, such calls were also more likely to result in critical-care admissions. Neurological effects were the most common.
These findings led the study’s authors to recommend warning labels and child-resistant packaging, especially for edible marijuana products that resemble candy.