A study to be published by the Annals of Emergency Medicine shows that accidental exposures to marijuana among children under the age of nine have increased in states that have laws allowing liberalized access to marijuana. The raw data for this study was derived from records of calls to poison centers from 2005 to 2011.
According to the journal article, the absolute risk remains low. The research shows that poison control calls were increased by 30% over earlier years in states that liberalized MJ use / access before 2005. In states where liberalization is more recent, the data showed an increase in calls of approximately 10%. By contrast, other states showed increases of only 2%.
Oregon and Colorado ranked highest--with increases of 6.8 and 6.6 respectively with California and Nevada not far behind. In states with easiest access to legalized marijuana, the data showed that children's caretakers were more likely to report ingestion of MJ by children to poison control centers.
The authors recommended that:
Decreasing the likelihood of ingestion is the best way to minimize childhood exposures because decriminalization will likely permit increasing use and availability of marijuana resulting in fewer public health interventions. The authors recommend that state lawmakers should consider safeguards such as child-resistant packaging, warning labels, and public education when drafting marijuana legislation to minimize the effect on children.
My question is this: How can a parent put child-resistant packaging or warning labels on that plate of TCH-laced brownies?
Wang, George S., et al., "Association of Unintentional Pediatric Exposures With Decriminalization of Marijuana in the United States." Annals of Emergency Medicine. [In Press, February 10, 2014]
Access article here: Download Wang.Unintentional Periatric Exposure to MJ [PDF]