Back in January, news sources reported that a young girl from New Mexico shared gummy bears with her classmates, resulting in some frightening consequences. According to the source, the fifth-grader acted very peculiarly after consuming the candy. Later, officials determined the candies had contained the narcotic drug marijuana, a horrifying reality of the great marijuana debate in our country. This situation only serves as an example of how even small doses of the drug can be potentially hazardous to children. Let’s take a closer look at the incident and a similar event before looking at how one state is tackling this issue head-on.
Not-So-Yummy Gummy Bears
Earlier that day, the young girl had taken gummy bear candies to school. At some point, she began sharing the seemingly harmless treats with three classmates. According to the Dean of Elementary Students, the each of the recipients had only consumed a single candy, while the girl ate three. Later, the Dean revealed the child began exhibiting strange behavior and claimed her vision was failing. Eventually, school officials were forced to call emergency teams, who inspect the children for health problems. What they discovered, however, was that the gummy bears were edibles, which the girl’s parents were using for medical purposes.
In a similar incident in June, 11 teenagers from Indiana had to be hospitalized after consuming gummy bears containing THC, a psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Police found one teen along a road and the rest of the group at a house. Each of the young adults had complained of increased heart rates and blurred vision, and pain in their legs. Even more frightening, each teen had only eaten one half of a single gummy bear.
In that light, the situation with the 5th grader becomes even more frightening, especially when you consider the four children had consumed whole candies.
Alaska’s Solution: Keep Marijuana AWAY from Children
Alaska’s Division of Public Health (sponsored by the Dept. of Health and Human Services) may have some solutions to the problem. On the official page for the State of Alaska, officials explain how people can prevent disasters resulting from marijuana:
- Always keep marijuana products out of the reach of children (and pets)
- Never use marijuana products while you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Commercial labels for edibles should provide clear, EASY TO READ warnings about the potential health risks of marijuana
At the same time, the State stresses one final fact: never give marijuana to children. Developing juveniles are at a higher risk for experiencing severe side effects including drowsiness, poor coordination, and strained breathing. When in doubt, as the State proposes, parents should call authorities at 911.
(Please keep in mind that recreational and medical marijuana are completely legal in the State of Alaska, only for adults ages 21 and older.)
Always remember that marijuana does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Out counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
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