Political funds from Washington, DC give extraordinary amounts of money to push agendas, especially for marijuana. Marijuana industry activists and lobbyists are pushing once again for legalization in four states — Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and North Dakota. It’s an anti-science policy. How funny that socialist politicians like Bernie Sanders and AOC support the most capitalistic of policies, without understanding the irony.
All eyes on Governor Kate Brown
The marijuana industry proves that “tax and regulate marijuana” cannot work. One year ago, October 3, 2018, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), announced new regulations that would ban marijuana edibles. The LCB responded to 382 cases of toxic overdose of marijuana products in 2017, 82 of them involving children ages five and under.
A week after the announcement, the LCB rescinded the regulations in response to fierce objections from the industry.
Now Oregon Governor Kate Brown has a good opportunity to ban marijuana vaping products in Oregon. Continue reading Vaping Deaths Test marijuana industry’s resistance to Regulation
A Texas man fatally stabbed his 16-month-old son, yelling “Jesus is coming,” in Lewisville, outside of Dallas, on August 19. Authorities say 27-year-old Blair Ness is charged in the death of his toddler son Ashton Ness.
Police say they found “fresh burnt marijuana as well as a haze of smoke in the apartment,” and blood in multiple areas of the apartment. Ness started his attack inside and then continued outside in a courtyard. A neighbor shot the father in his leg to stop the killing.
The man told police, “I know everyone’s mad, I’m mad. I killed my son.” A caller to 911 expresses the disbelief and absurdity of the situation. We send our condolences to the mother and the family.
The incident suggests a marijuana-induced psychosis, a problem that figures in about 10% of the child abuse deaths Parents Opposed to Pot has tracked.
In Vermont last year, a father – in the midst of psychosis — jumped four stories with his 6-year-old son. Anxious and suicidal, Tyler Denning had been smoking marijuana that morning, and claimed that God made him do it. Fortunately, both father and son survived.
Death Highlights Cannabis’ role in Texas child-abuse death
In March, Texas released its report on child abuse deaths, finding half the 172 child abuse deaths in 2017 coupled with substance abuse. Marijuana was the most-used substance connected to child abuse and neglect deaths, followed by alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine. In one terrible case last year, Cynthia Randolph left her 1-year old and 2-year-old in the car while she smoked pot. Both children died.
According to the report, of the deaths caused by parent or caregiver substance abuse, 56 used marijuana; 23 used alcohol; 16 involved cocaine; 14 were linked to methamphetamine, 2 involved opiates and 1 was connected to heroin. Many abusers were co-abusing substances, such as combining marijuana and cocaine.
In 2017, Arizona also published a report showing that marijuana was the substance most often linked to child abuse deaths in 2016.
When will the public wake up?
Those who say that marijuana makes people calm misunderstand how cannabis works on their brain. People who advocate for “responsible” use of marijuana need to cut out the delusion and misrepresentation. Popular magazines such as Oprah, Allure and Cosmopolitan present marijuana use as glamorous or at the cutting edge of our culture. A California company MedMen, aka The Mad Men of Marijuana, aggressively tries to rebrand the stoner image.
In Atlantic Magazine last week, Annie Lowrey wrote an article exposing the truth about marijuana addiction. While the author tells the truth about addiction, she opines that marijuana is relatively benign compared to alcohol and tobacco. She may be basing her belief on old information, when 3 or 4% of the population used weed, vs. 65% using alcohol. Marijuana is far more toxic to the brain than tobacco.
Meanwhile, our country focuses on opiate addiction, instead of poly-drug abuse.
In Pennsylvania, a child died because her mom gave her a drink laced with fentanyl and then smoked marijuana. Although the fentanyl killed the girl, the mom’s marijuana use is loosely related to the death.
Mass Illness from Marijuana Edibles in San Francisco
There’s more potential for overdose from edibles than smoked marijuana, although the teen in Seattle who jumped to his death last December did it after smoking pot for the first time. Two shocking incidents in California suggest that overdose emergencies will increase if that states vote to legalize marijuana in November. Here’s a summary of recent cases of toxicity from edibles:
- 19 people were hospitalized in San Francisco on August 7 from THC, after attending a quinceañera party. The source is believed be marijuana-infused candies, perhaps gummy bears. Several children were among those poisoned, one as young as six. A 9-year-old had severe difficulty breathing.
- Pot brownies sent a bachelorette party to the emergency room in South Lake Tahoe over the weekend of July 30-31. Eight of the 10 women were admitted to the hospital according to the City of South Lake Tahoe’s website.
- A JAMA Pediatrics article explains the dramatic rise in children’s hospitalizations related to marijuana in Colorado since legalization. In 10 cases, the product was not in a child-resistant container; in 40 scenarios (34%) there was poor child supervision or product storage. Edible products were responsible for 51 (52% ) of exposures. The report claimed that child-resistant packaging has not been as effective in reducing kids’ unintended exposure to pot as hoped.
- The report mentions the death of one child, an 11-month-old baby. Nine of the children had symptoms so serious that they ended up in the intensive care unit of Colorado Children’s Hospital. Two children needed breathing tubes.
- The state of Washington has a similar problem with edibles, as reported on the King County Health Department’s website. From 2013 to May 2015, there were 46 cases of children’s intoxications related to marijuana edibles reported in Washington. However, reporting is voluntary and the state estimates that number could be much higher.
- In May, a father plead guilty to deliberately giving his 4-year-old daughter marijuana-laced cake in Vancouver, Washington. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
- In Hingham, MA, there was a 911 related to teen girl who ingested marijuana edibles. The candies were in a package labelled Conscious Creations, which didn’t disclose ingredients. Massachusetts has a medical marijuana program, but it is not clear how or to whom they were sold or dispensed.
- July, 2016: Two California teens were hospitalized after eating a marijuana-laced cookie. The teens reported purchasing the cookie from a third teenager who was subsequently arrested.
- July, 2016: A California man was arrested for giving candy laced with marijuana to a 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy; the 6-year-old was hospitalized for marijuana poisoning.
- July, 2016: Police in Arizona arrested a mother for allegedly giving her 11- and 12-year-old children gummy candy infused with marijuana. Police say the marijuana-infused candy was originally purchased by an Arizona medical marijuana user, but was illegally transferred to the mother in question. (State medical marijuana programs have poor track records of assuring the “medicine” goes to whom it is intended.)
- On April 27, a Georgia woman was arrested after a 5- year-old said he ate a marijuana cake for breakfast. The child was taken to the hospital for treatment following the incident; according to officials, his pulse was measured at over 200 beats per minute.
- Last year there were more than 4,000 treatments at hospitals and poison center treatments in the US related to marijuana toxicity in children and teens.
Edible marijuana poses a “unique problem,” because “no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form” – such as cookies, brownies and candy. Many household items cause poisonings, but marijuana edibles are different because they’re made to look appealing and they appeal to children.