Tag Archives: Dr. George Wang

Coloradans Tricked into Voting for This?

Yesterday, October 20, the Colorado health department proposed a ban of most forms of edible marijuana in the state’s pot shops.  The plan was scrapped after four hours of debate.   (Pictures of some of some edibles  are in earlier blog postings.)

Coloradans now admit they weren’t expecting the problem with edibles and marijuana stores, when they voted to approve Amendment 64.   They were promised it could “be regulated.”  Thanks to the Marijuana Policy Project, voters were tricked into a commercial program they no longer want, which governor called “reckless.”

CanYouSpotthePotBy early May of this year, nine children were treated at the Colorado Children’s Hospital in Aurora for ingesting marijuana. Seven of these children were in intensive care.   By August, at least three more children had been in emergency treatment for marijuana at the same hospital.    Dr. George Wang, head of emergency services at Colorado Children’s Hospital, discussed in a on Colorado Public Radio interview how marijuana poisonings have increased exponentially in the last few years.

Even adults have been tricked by the edibles, as Dr. Richard Zane, head of the emergency services at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver explained.  At a county fair in Denver this summer, three people sought emergency treatment after they ate marijuana edibles, by mistake.   Two adults died directly from ingestion of the edibles, one in March, and one in April.

Following the deaths,  H.B. 14-1366 was signed in May 2014.   The bill mandates that the department of revenue, on or before January 1, 2016, adopt rules requiring edible retail marijuana products to be shaped, stamped, colored, or otherwise marked with a standard symbol indicating that it contains marijuana and is not for consumption by children.  Currently marijuana infused edibles must have packaging that meet requirements similar to the federal “Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970.”

As one dispensary owner admitted, the edibles makers  just take common candies and spray hash oil on them.

“Marijuana is being sprayed, injected, and infused into almost anything imaginable — candies, cookies, sodas, salad dressing, pasta sauce, ramen noodles, and more — and yet our children and teenagers as well as parents, school officials, and community members have no way of knowing which products contain pot and which don’t.”  Diane Carlson, representing Smart Colorado,  was speaking at a committee meeting in September.  Smart Colorado formed in early 2013, after passage of Amendment 64, to assure that the newly legalized marijuana would stay out of the hands of children.


Marijuana Treats Look Like Familiar Sweets

pot headsIn the first 5 months of this year,  nine children had been treated at the Colorado Children’s Hospital in Aurora for ingesting marijuana.  Seven of these children were in intensive care.    By August, at least 3 more children had been in emergency treatment for marijuana at the same hospital.

The first stores for recreational marijuana opened in January, 2014.  Marijuana overdoses in children began October, 2009, when medical marijuana suddenly exploded in Colorado.  There were no such incidences recorded between 2005 and 2009, according to Dr. George Wang, head of emergency services at Colorado Children’s Hospital.  He explained the problem in a Colorado Public Radio interview last year.   Colorado’s medical marijuana was approved by voters in 2000, but the expansion of medical marijuana in 2009 caused the new problem.  The pace doubled this year, as a commercialized marijuana industry started selling new products.  “Legalizing creates greater promotion…. and also legitimizes the drug,” according to Bob Doyle, who was featured in a video we shared.firecrackers

In response to two deaths from edible marijuana, the governor signed legislation to regulate marijuana in May.  The laws will go into effect in 2016.  Edible pot will require child-proofing, as is required for pharmaceutical and over-the-the-counter medicine.

Despite labels, many of the children who have been hospitalized were too young to read.    A TV investigation showed that most children can’t tell the difference between the “adult candies” and those that are only for children.  Previously,  we published pictures of commercial pot candies available in Colorado, and in California.  Here’s an additional sampling.

pot drinksEven when parents try to keep it away from them, children go for sweets.  Cartoon-like characters and bright colors will always attract children.   It’s logical that school-age  children could be so attracted to the packaging that they would not bother to read.

Both the manufacturing of marijuana sweets and the packaging make them so appealing.  Edible pot processors make products that closely imitate familiar products, like Cap’N Crunch cereal and Pop Tarts. One company’s Pot-tarts are hard to distinguish from Kellogg’s Pot-tarts.poptarts

The Hershey Co. has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against TinctureBelle, a Colorado marijuana edibles company, claiming it makes four pot-infused candies that too closely resemble iconic products of the chocolate maker.

The specific lollipopsproducts which mimic the look of Hershey’s candies are: Ganja Joy, like Almond Joy; Hasheath, which looks like Heath Bars; Hashees which resemble Reese’s peanut cups, and Dabby Patty, made to look like York peppermint patties.  The company’s website says its products “diabetic safe and delicious” and helpful with a variety of issues, including pain, headaches and insomnia.

Hershey says the products are packaged in a way that will confuse consumers, including children. The lawsuit alleges that TinctureBelle “creates a genuine safety risk with regard to consumers” who may inadvertently eat them thinking they are ordinary chocolate candy.   Other pot candies that look like Kit Kats, Milky Ways, Nestle’s Crunch and Butterfingers.  Will other candy companies like Nestles or Mars file a lawsuits, also?

pot candies