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Marijuana Legalization and the Effects on Child Health and Safety Colorado, policy, Children

Aside from the changes to criminal law, legalization has implications for school safety policies, child abuse and neglect statutes, child care center regulation, advertising restrictions, substance abuse programs, employment law, traffic offenses, banking, state revenue, ports of entry and federalism, among many others.
These policy challenges have far-reaching implications, few have been easy to resolve, and most have drawn time and resources away from other policy areas. But most stakeholders have approached each issue with good faith and an earnest determination to find solutions that gain broad support.

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Marijuana candy sickens 19 at quinceañera edibles, Children, california, Ohio

"Anyone who attended the quinceañera and may have taken home some of the gummy rings is urged to discard them immediately," said Dr. Tomas Aragon, health officer for the city and county of San Francisco.

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Legalized marijuana sends more kids to the hospital in Colorado Colorado, edibles, Children, hospitalization

The exposures can make kids really sick, she said. The majority of the children had symptoms including sleepiness or trouble with balance, which typically goes away within six to 24 hours. But about 20 percent needed to be admitted to the hospital and 15 percent of cases were so severe they ended up in the intensive care unit. "Marijuana exposures in young children have resulted in respiratory compromise requiring the use of a ventilator and intensive care unit admission in a handful of cases,"

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Marijuana Exposure Among Kids Under 6 Rises Sharply Side-Effects, poisoning, Children, edibles

The children who were exposed to marijuana experienced mostly effects such as drowsiness and lethargy, followed by lack of coordination, irritability and confusion. Serious effects were less common, but some children experienced comas and seizures. Around 80 percent of the children experienced effects that last from between 2 hours and one day, according to the study.
 

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Colorado Study Finds One in Six Children Hospitalized for Lung Inflammation Test Positive for Marijuana Exposure Colorado, second hand smoke, Children

A new study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure. 
"Especially as marijuana becomes more available and acceptable, we need to learn more about how this may affect children's health and development." In the meantime, she said, "marijuana should never be smoked in the presence of children." 

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Is Medical Marijuana Right for Kids With Chronic Illness? Charlotte's Web, epilepsy, legalization, Children, chronic

 “It is important to know that legalizing marijuana would not mean greater access to potentially effective treatment for children and adults with a medical illness such as epilepsy. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is not at all marijuana.”

CBD is not medical marijuana. CBD does not get anyone high nor does it increase appetite. It may be beneficial in treating children with rare forms of epilepsy, often difficult to control with medication or other available treatments, but it does not work for everyone with seizures.

“The stories of kids having fewer seizures described in the media are heartwarming and can possibly be of some benefit – just like many other medications available to treat seizures,” Dr. Patel adds.

What are the possible side effects?
CBD can cause nausea, diarrhea, or worse, affect the liver.

Dr. Patel states, “There is nothing natural about marijuana and its components. It is broken down in a person’s liver, similar to many other medications. It has interactions with other medications and is still not fully understood. If further studies show that CBD is safe and effective, it will be sent to the FDA for official approval. If the FDA approves this medication, it will be available in the form of a prescription and no laws will need to be changed.”

“Legalization would make our jobs as medical providers more difficult as we will not know what changing, non-tested preparations a child may be getting. I understand that parents are desperate and want to help their children, however, it is dangerous to give a child or patient a product unless it has been studied properly and is the same consistent product each time.” If the ongoing trials show that Epidiolex is safe and effective, then all people can have access to it through a prescription and know that it has been properly tested and is consistent each month. Medical providers will know how to dose it and it will be regulated by the FDA.

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Medical marijuana and children don't mix, most Americans say. Research, Children

However, there is little science about the safety or efficacy of treating children with medical marijuana. Research also indicates that the brains and nervous systems of children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to adverse effects of marijuana use, a concern raised by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Poll

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Researchers track pot 'use'--of kids under 6 Children, exposure, Medical

Researchers found that more kids are being exposed to marijuana—by the age of 5, they report in Clinical Pediatrics. Between 2006 and 2013, the marijuana exposure rate rose 147.5 percent among kids 5 and under, according to a press release—and it rose nearly 610 percent during that period in states that legalized medical marijuana before the year 2000 (by our count, five).

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An Increasing Number of Young Children Are Being Exposed to Marijuana, Study Shows Children, exposure, Death, Studies

The study, conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, showed a 147.5% increase in marijuana exposure among children younger than 6 years old between 2006 and 2013. That rate spiked by 610% over the same period in states where marijuana was legalized for medicinal purposes before 2000.

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Marijuana Intoxication: Signs and Symptoms Intoxication, Children, Colorado, symptoms 10
Sheriff Gee: Why parents should be alarmed about Amendment 2 OpEd, Sheriff, Children, youth 11
Susan Latvala: Amendment 2 threatens our communities OpEd, Children, community, County commissioner 12
Cops: Student shared pot-laced lollipops with pals Connecticut, pot candy, lollipop, Children 13
Marijuana edibles popularity concerns doctors edibles, candy, legalization, Children 14
Child Proof Pot youth, Children, poisoning, emergency room

One such statistic is a spike in calls to poison control centers. According to the National Poison Data System, calls about accidental ingestion of marijuana in children 9 and younger more than tripled in states that decriminalized marijuana before 2005. In states that enacted legalization from 2005 to 2011, calls increased nearly 11.5 percent per year. Over the same period in states without decriminalization laws, the call rate stayed the same.

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Colo. lawmakers get blunt, move to tighten marijuana rules after two deaths Children, Death

State legislators said they were concerned by testimony from Children’s Hospital Dr. Michael DiStefano, who said that seven children had been treated since January for symptoms related to marijuana intake. Between 2005 and 2013, that number was six.

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Governor Issues: Warning signs on Colorado's marijuana legalization Colorado-0, warning, legalization, Children

“I urge caution,” he said at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington last week. When states promote something that is not good for people, he said, they need to be prepared for “unintended consequences.”

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Striking rise in accidental marijuana poisonings Poisonings, Children, Medical

The number of unintentional marijuana poisonings in children rose markedly in Colorado after medical marijuana was decriminalized in 2009, with visits to one emergency department climbing from zero to 2.4% of all poisoning cases in just 2 years, according to a report published online May 27 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Pediatric Marijuana Exposures in a Medical Marijuana State Colorado, ingestion, Children

In Colorado, the combination of decriminalizing medical marijuana and declining federal prosecution was associated with a significant increase in the exposure of young children to marijuana. Physicians, especially in states that have decriminalized medical marijuana, need to be cognizant of the potential for marijuana exposures and be familiar with the symptoms of marijuana ingestion. This unintended outcome may suggest a role for public health interventions in this emerging industry, such as child-resistant containers and warning labels for medical marijuana. The consequences of marijuana exposure in children should be part of the ongoing debate on legalizing marijuana.

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