Ever since the dawn of recreational marijuana laws, cannabis edibles have been at the forefront of the regulatory debate. Reports of increased emergency room visits due to overconsumption in states like Colorado have even prompted lawmakers to impose tighter restrictions on the manufacturing of these products. Although the situation is all just an experiment, there is hope that by making marijuana edibles less attractive to children fewer incidents of accidental overdose will take place across the board.
But even in states with only medical marijuana laws on the books, accidents can still happen. A recent report from the Albuquerque Journal indicates that a nine-year-old student in New Mexico recently distributed some candy to her fellow fifth-graders, only to find out that she accidentally dosed them with THC-infused edibles out of her parent’s medical marijuana stash. The situation caused some panic for the faculty at the Albuquerque School of Excellence, as the kids who ate the gummies reportedly suffered some ill effects.
“She had this box, it had a label on it that said ‘incredibles.’ We just thought it was ordinary gummies,” said one of the students who consumed the edible marijuana. “I started feeling really dizzy. I felt like the room was going to flip to the side,” the youngster went on to explain.
According to the Dean of Elementary Students, Kristy Del Curto, three students each ingested a single portion of marijuana edibles, while the little girl who brought them ate three or four. Needless to say, school officials felt it necessary to summon the assistance of emergency responders in order to prevent the youngsters from suffering a total freak out from the sheer intensity that can come from these kinds of products.
Fortunately, while the overconsumption of marijuana can spawn fear in the hearts and minds of the unprepared user, it is impossible to die from an overdose of cannabis. Even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration admits there has never been a single overdose death as a result of ingesting too much marijuana. Recent studies have found that “because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”
But that’s not to say that the parents of these children weren’t concerned. One parent told CBS-affiliate WOWK that the incident could have been avoided had it not been for “irresponsible parents.”
School officials say they are doing everything in their power to ensure an incident like this never happens again.
“We would like to remind all students and parents to be cautious about food/drink sharing… and we would like our community to be alert with drugs and any edibles that may or could be in different formats,” the school wrote. “We kindly ask our parents and community members not to talk explicitly about drugs/medicine when students are present.”
Nearly thirty states or territories have similar medical marijuana laws. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized for recreational use. Cannabis edibles are legal in these jurisdictions.