State Attorney Generals issue advisories concerning lookalike pot edibles.
Candy has been on many people’s minds with the recently passing of Halloween. Numerous children across the U.S. have buckets full they’re eager to consume. And that’s exactly why many Attorney Generals are again issuing warnings that marijuana edibles look like regular, everyday candy and snacks, including some of the most popular children’s treats, such as Airheads, Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Cheetos, Oreos, and others.
This can create an especially dangerous situation if children inadvertently consume pot disguised as candy and other items, and the National Center for Poison Control (NCPC) warns that “legal or illegal, if there’s marijuana in a household, small children can get to it. Kids are always curious, super-fast, and like to imitate adults.”
The NCPC has also shared that researchers in Colorado “reported an increase in the number of children brought to the emergency room after swallowing medical marijuana products. The children ranged in age from as young as 8 months to 12 years old. Most of the children ate medical marijuana cakes, cookies or candies belonging to their grandparents, parents, babysitters, or friends of the family.”
Marijuana, when consumed by children and adolescents (as well as in many adults), can cause excessive sleepiness, dizziness, gait issues and a rapid heart rate. Becoming too tried and having slowed breathing can be life-threatening. An increased heart rate can also be especially dangerous for children who have underlying heart issues.
“For teens, regular marijuana use can impair memory and concentration, may interfere with learning,” the NCPC warns. It has been linked to academic troubles and psychological problems, including anxiety and depression, which have contributed to an increase in the national suicide rate in recent years. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it is illegal to operate a vehicle after consuming marijuana or to consume it while driving. Use can lead to legal troubles for teens.
Children who accidentally consume edibles around Halloween time or not and overdose can experience “altered perception, anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, weakness, slurred speech, poor coordination, apnea, and heart problems,” the AGs warn. They are not suggesting that individuals have purposefully handed out edibles to children instead of regular Halloween candy. Their advisories are more concerned with what it already being consumed in the home by adults.
Attorney General Letitia James (Democrat) of New York was among those who issue a statement, saying, “It’s essential that we limit access [to edibles] to protect our communities and, more specifically, our children. In light of an increase in accidental overdoses among children nationwide, it is more vital than ever that we do everything we can to curb this crisis and prevent any further harm, or even worse, death.”
Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong (Democrat) also warned, “These look-alike cannabis products are unregulated, unsafe, and illegal. Accidental cannabis overdoses by children are increasing nationwide, and these products will only make this worse. While Connecticut recently legalized adult-use cannabis, many of these products fall far outside the range of what will ever be safe or authorized for sale. If you see these look-alike products for sale, please report them to my office and take every measure to keep these away from kids.”