Whether you like it or not, medical marijuana has been gaining a lot of attention over the last few years. Many people find that smoking marijuana brings on a lot of positive benefits for cancer, epilepsy, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to name a few. With it helping so many conditions for so many people, it should come as no surprise that more and more individuals are turning to it for their specific needs. Having said that however, it also should come as no suprise that there are many negative side effects of medical marijuana- including some that you may not have originally thought of.
In Massachusetts- a state where medical and recreational marijuana have only been legal for a short while- the number of marijuana-related poison control calls for children has doubled. This is happening despite a legislative mandate for both warning labels and childproof packaging of marijuana and related products. This recent discovery has a lot of medical professionals understandably worried for those affected, as well as those who may be affected.
The Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention- which is located at Boston Children's Hospital- was the one who found this recent and troubling data. The reviewed data in question was dated between 2009 to 2016. This covered four years before marijuana use of any capacity was legalized, as well as four years after the fact.
That specific period in time saw Boston's poison control receiving 218 phone calls across the state of Massachusetts regarding marijuana exposure of children and teens. Those phone calls included 98 single-substance calls, as well as 120 ploysubstance calls on top of that. The age range for children looked at in this study was from infancy to about 19 years old. It's also worth pointing out that these phone calls represented 0.15 percent of all poison control calls for that time period and age group.
The study- which was published in JAMA Network Open by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst- included many highlights on the subject matter. For example, phone calls involving edible cannabis products- often known simply as edibles- increased for a lot of age groups, including between the ages of 15 to 19. Another fact is that during the study period, the number of phone calls for single-substance cannabis exposure increased by a staggering 140 percent.
So it seems that for all the good marijuana has done for those who smoke it, children who experience secondhand exposure of this drug are suffering. This is especially true in cases of unintentional exposure, which is something that no kid should have to deal with. The researchers who conducted this study believe that more calls to poison control in Massachusetts on the matter will continue to occur. Here's hoping that eventually, the number of such calls will decrease with time.