More Children Exposed To Parents’ Marijuana

The Washington Post (6/10, Phillip) reports in its Wonkblog that a study has found more children are being accidentally exposed to marijuana in places where it is legal. The study conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics concluded that between 2006 and 2013, the rate of children who were reported to have been exposed to marijuana increased by 147.5 percent. Exposure also went up in states where medical marijuana use isn’t legal, though not as much as in states where it was legal. Study co-author Henry Spiller said in a statement, “The high percentage of ingestions may be related to the popularity of marijuana brownies, cookies and other foods.” How to keep marijuana away from children has been a “persistent problem” for legalization advocates, “but it is unclear how to make edibles less likely to fall into the wrong hands.”

According to TIME’s (6/10, Iyengar) website, the “total number of reported cases — 1,969 children between 2000 and 2013 — is not large,” but researchers believe the “rapid escalation in the rate of exposure is a cause for concern. More than 75% of the children who were exposed to marijuana were under 3 years old.” Gary Smith, a senior author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said, “Any state considering marijuana legalization needs to include child protections in its laws from the very beginning.”

Related Links:

— “More and more little kids are finding mom and dad’s (legal) marijuana stash,” Abby Phillip, Washington Post, June 9, 2015.

Posted in In The News.