Quick Thoughts: Refer Madness

I happened upon an article from NPR today that highlights the increasing numbers of children being hospitalized since recreational marijuana – particularly in the form of edibles – has been legalized in many states across the US. The article cites a study published in Pediatrics that documents this disconcerting trend.

It appears to be much ado about nothing at best, and disingenuous at worst.

First, to be clear, if you have both edibles and children in your home then you need to make sure the edibles are properly secured, like you should with any medication or other potentially harmful substance.

As far as the rise of cannabis ingestion by kids being on the rise, the study cites a large percentage increase over a trivial base as a way to make the data seem more urgent than it truly is. Also, it ignores meaningful comparisons to other substances that would give proper context to the threat posed by edibles. Even though calls to poison control and even hospitalizations related to pediatric consumption of cannabis are on the rise, these numbers pale in comparison to other drugs and dangerous substances. And, cannabis isn’t even on the radar for pediatric deaths, which are mostly due to accidents, cancer, congenital issues, and murder (in that order, collectively representing over 60% of deaths).

We should absolutely pay attention to how we are handling edibles, which typically look like delicious snacks to anyone, young or old, that happens to see them. Let’s not overstate the problem, though.