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Michigan Sees a 245% Increase in Pediatric Marijuana Poisonings

By Therin Miller | Chronic Magazine


As marijuana becomes more accessible, it is also becoming more common for children to be poisoned by it.


Marijuana poisonings have been on the rise nationwide, with a 245% increase from 2000 to 2020.

The majority of these poisonings occur in children 5 and under, as they often mistake edibles for candy.


Dan Richmond, a resident of Port Huron, uses cannabis to treat both his high-functioning autism and pain from a service injury suffered while he was in the military. To keep kids safe from cannabis, Richmond keeps his supply in a box secured by a biometric fingerprint lock.

Richmond says he believes in being a responsible cannabis user and takes active measures to educate himself and those around him.


Richmond says educates his children about marijuana, its use, and the dangers because they'll learn one way or another. "For them to have the education here first, I think is super important and then to see the right thing be done with storage," Richmond said.


Dr. Varun Vorah, the director of the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center, mentioned that there is a more than a 10-year trend of increasing pediatric exposures to cannabis.

Dr. Varun Vorah warns parents to keep their cannabis products out of sight and reach of children, and only use them when there are no kids around.


In 2021, the poison control agency recorded a dramatic spike in cases involving pediatric marijuana exposures. Of the 445 reported cases, the largest portion involved children aged 5 and under. Most of these incidents were related to edibles, such as candy or baked goods made with cannabis products. This sharp rise in pediatric exposures is concerning for many children's health.


In most cases of so-called exploratory ingestion, you might see sleepiness, odd behavior even an elevated heart rate.


Keep a close eye on your child for a couple of hours, because edibles are slower to take effect. Never make a child vomit. It could lead to complications like pneumonia.

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