Colorado grows numbers of children who accidentally use marijuana

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Colorado grows numbers of children who accidentally use marijuana An employee manipulates a marijuana plant in a cannabis dispensary. EFE / Archive

The number of children under the age of 9 who used marijuana accidentally grew in Colorado for the third year in a row, a new official report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) revealed today.

The report, prepared by the Marijuana and Public Health Advisory Committee (under the CDPHE), expresses “concern” about this trend and that in thousands of homes marijuana is easily accessible to children and young people.

In 2018 the percentage of adults of all ages who consume marijuana increased regularly, with 15.5% consuming it at least once a month and 7.6% doing it daily, against 13.6% and 6.4% , respectively, in the year 2016.

CDPHE estimates that in “about 23,000 homes in Colorado where children live, marijuana is stored in a potentially unsafe manner.”

By “unsafe” the analysis understands that the substance is not under lock and key, as required by current laws, or that candy with marijuana remains in view of children, causing confusion with the children’s treats.
However, “in most homes with children in Colorado there is no marijuana present or is not used inside the home, or they have a safe way to store it,” the report noted.

The CDPHE warned that “marijuana use among minors can have important clinical effects that will require medical attention.”

According to the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, those effects “are stronger and longer” when marijuana is swallowed.

Currently, 4.9 out of every 1,000 visits of children to emergency rooms in Colorado are related to symptoms caused by marijuana, compared to 1.8 similar cases per 1,000 visits before the legalization of that substance.
In specific numbers, according to the hospital itself, this means about 400 cases a year.

Dr. Tista Ghosh, interim medical director of CDPHE, said in presenting the report that the statistical difference between 2016 and 2018 (the most recent year analyzed) regarding the unintentional consumption of marijuana among children “is not significant”.

But he also warned that the fact that this number continues to rise should motivate the authorities to increase “the efforts to protect the health of everyone in Colorado.”
According to the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, every year about 500 adults are treated for the effects of having used marijuana.

New laws in this state restrict the size and percentage of psychoactive ingredients in edible products that include marijuana. (EFEUSA) .-

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