Emergency calls increase for children eating marijuana edibles

Doctors say gummies can be fatal for really small children

TULSA — Now that medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, the number of calls to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information and emergency department visits are on the rise for children who accidentally consume marijuana edibles, such as gummies, according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

Doctors with Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health say calls involving children have increased 10-fold since 2018, when medical marijuana legislation was passed in the state.

Experts believe calls may be on the rise because people are feeling more comfortable reporting adverse effects.

“Children are particularly sensitive to marijuana products,” said Scott Schaeffer, Managing Director of the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information. “Many children, who consume marijuana edibles, require hospital admission due to the severity of their symptoms.”

Schaeffer says two children in the state became seriously ill last week after eating edibles.

He says the effects from edibles may take one or two hours to reach peak effect.

Children may experience vomiting, a fast heart rate, confusion, anxiety and hallucinations.

Pharmacists and registered nurses at the poison center are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 222-1222.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs recently issued a statement on a collaboration with OMMA to investigate edibles that caused hospitalizations.

“The safety of our patients and our community is always the top priority of this agency,” said Dr. Kelly Williams, Director of the OMMA, “my team is working exceptionally hard and partnering with OBNDD to address this issue and evaluate the products for sale at our licensed dispensaries.”

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