COLORADO: If you read the national headlines or watch the reports on TV, you’d think there was a dangerous epidemic sweeping the nation’s youngsters. According to a recent study, more kids are accidentally ingesting their parents’ cannabis, especially in states where the herb is legal. When marijuana-laced edibles are wrapped in darling packaging to look like delicious cookies, brownies, chocolate bars and ice cream sandwiches, it follows that a few kids will accidentally eat them.
However, the general reaction to the study is waxing hysterical. In reality, as Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project pointed out in an email, the actual statistics of the study aren’t as alarming as they seem.
In the pot-legal state of Colorado, for example, where there are likely more marijuana businesses (and treats) than anywhere in the world, the study notes that the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC) received 151 calls about marijuana exposure in 2014, 45 of which involved children 8 years old and younger. Those incidents should be taken seriously. But they don’t seem so outstanding when you stack them next to the 2,690 calls about children 5 and under being exposed to cosmetics, 1,495 regarding household cleaning product exposure, and 739 calls regarding vitamins—all of which RMPDC received in 2011.
Published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, the study concluded accidental exposure to pot is increasingly common for children. It based its data on analysis of self-reported incidents between 2000 to 2013 from the National Poison Data System, which gathers its statistics from all of the poison control centers in the country. Naturally, pot-laced treats were the most common offender.