Number of cases of Mississippi children eating marijuana edibles spikes

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:50 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Over the past ten days, the Mississippi Poison Control Center received four calls - all cases of kids under age six who mistakenly ate edibles.

In 2019, the center only reported two calls about children eating edibles. But in 2022, that number shot up to 36.

Colonel Steven Maxwell, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, told 3 On Your Side why he believes there’s a spike in cases.

“And because there’s been a significant increase in edible-type products that are accessible now, not just by Mississippians, but by Americans as a whole. You’re going to have more of these products in vehicles, in homes, in the possession of adults, which therefore is going to increase the likelihood, unfortunately, of infants, children, and adolescents getting their hands on these products.”

Due to the packaging being similar to regular candy and gummies, edibles laced with marijuana look very appealing to children.

“So edible exposures in kids are more dangerous because they weigh less than adults do,” Maxwell said. “So a dose that might be therapeutic in an adult will cause toxicity in a child.”

Dr. David Vearrier, Director of Medical Toxicology at UMMC, warned the public of a child’s symptoms who may have consumed an edible product.

“The most common side effect is going to be CNS depression, so mental status depression, like sleepiness. Sometimes you’ll see decreased breathing, sometimes you’ll see agitation, [the] child will be agitated, crying, upset,” Vearrier said.

Parents who have edibles are told to treat them like medicine and keep them out of sight and reach of children.

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