The 2nd recreational pot store opened in Washington State recently while store #3 opens later this week. Pace will quicken with several more stores expected to open by year-end. This puts parents and pediatricians in our state in a unique situation (shared only with Colorado) as we’re tasked to explain to children and teens the dangers of legalized drugs used by adults. However, the complexity extends even to those of us with young children. Growing concern (and evidence) finds accidental ingestion of pot among children, often in the form of edibles, is also accelerating. Online in social channels I’ve heard some argue that marijuana legalization is to be thought of like alcohol but the packaging and delivery of the drug really are far different.
Marijuana Use By Teens Still Illegal Yet Common
- Nearly half of all teens have tried pot by the time they finish high school while almost 1/4 of all high school students report having used marijuana in the past month. That’s pretty common.
- 35 different marijuana-infused food & beverages have been approved by WSLCB (cookies, trail mix, peanut brittle, gummy bears, and chocolate bars for example). Often the packaging for these products looks as attractive as a fruit roll-up or delicious candy bar typically marketed to children.
- There have been 68 pediatric marijuana exposures voluntarily reported to Washington State poison control already this year. Because reporting isn’t mandatory this is potentially an underestimate of the number of children exposed to marijuana accidentally.