How Can States Keep Children From Accidentally Eating Marijuana?

That’s what Colorado is trying to figure out.

Not safe for children.
National Journal
Emma Roller
May 8, 2014, 1 a.m.

Pot brownies have been the punch­line of count­less stoner jokes. But they’re no laugh­ing mat­ter in Col­or­ado.

Last month, a 19-year-old col­lege stu­dent from Wyom­ing fell to his death after eat­ing marijuana-laced cook­ies and jump­ing off the hotel he was stay­ing at. The stu­dent, Levy Thamba, was vis­it­ing Den­ver with friends to try out Col­or­ado’s marijuana of­fer­ings. Thamba’s death was the first one the Den­ver cor­on­er’s of­fice cat­egor­ized as caused by marijuana ed­ible in­tox­ic­a­tion.

It’s not just col­lege stu­dents who are at risk of in­tox­ic­a­tion by in­gest­ing dan­ger­ous ed­ibles. One Col­or­ado study from last year found a marked up­tick in the num­ber of young chil­dren who re­ceived med­ic­al treat­ment after ac­ci­dent­ally eat­ing marijuana-laced treats.

That’s why the Col­or­ado Le­gis­lature is work­ing to im­pose stricter stand­ards on the marijuana ed­ibles that are sold in dis­pens­ar­ies across the state. On Wed­nes­day, the state House voted un­an­im­ously to study wheth­er ed­ibles stamped with child warn­ings and giv­en uni­form col­ors or shapes made a dif­fer­ence in il­leg­al con­sump­tion. Ed­ibles are already re­quired to be sold in opaque, child­proof pack­aging with a warn­ing that the food con­tains marijuana.

In Janu­ary, Col­or­ado be­came the first state in the coun­try to al­low per­sons 21 and older to buy marijuana from state dis­pens­ar­ies for re­cre­ation­al use. Ed­ibles make up 20 to 40 per­cent of marijuana sales in the state. As the law cur­rently stands, the in­di­vidu­ally pack­aged ed­ibles that dis­pens­ar­ies sell can con­tain up to 10 times the “re­com­men­ded serving” of THC to get in­tox­ic­ated.

It’s more dif­fi­cult to reg­u­late ed­ibles for THC — the psy­cho­act­ive in­gredi­ent in marijuana — than in the marijuana buds that dis­pens­ar­ies sell.

It’s also harder to self-reg­u­late your in­take, since THC can be much more con­cen­trated in one pot brownie com­pared to smoking a joint. Un­like smoking marijuana, which takes ef­fect al­most im­me­di­ately, it can take any­where from 30 minutes to two hours for ed­ible marijuana to kick in. If users eat too much of an ed­ible, too quickly, they can eas­ily over­in­dulge.

Col­or­ado res­id­ents are ex­per­i­ment­ing — in both the per­son­al and leg­al sense. The state, along with Wash­ing­ton, is a test­ing ground to see wheth­er marijuana leg­al­iz­a­tion will be feas­ible in oth­er parts of the coun­try. States like Ari­zona and Alaska, along with the Dis­trict of Columbia, are con­sid­er­ing laws to leg­al­ize re­cre­ation­al marijuana.

If more states fol­low Col­or­ado’s lead, they’ll be able to learn from its mis­takes.

What We're Following See More »
WHITE HOUSE URGING QUICK SENATE ACTION
John King Gets Nod for Education Secretary
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Obama has said he’ll nominate John King to fill out the last few months of Obama’s presidency as Secretary of Education. King has been in an acting secretary role since Arne Duncan stepped down in December. The White House is pressuring the Senate to act quickly on the nomination.

Source:
162,000 SIGNATURES SO FAR
Sanders Supporters Begin to Petition Superdelegates
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t taking this whole superdelegate thing lying down. Despite a tie a blowout win against Hillary Clinton, Sanders trails her by some 350 delegates in the overall count, thanks mostly to superdelegates pledging to support her. His backers have taken to creating a MoveOn.org petition to pressure the superdelegates to be flexible. It reads: “Commit to honoring the voters—let everyone know that you won’t allow your vote to defeat our votes. Announce that in the event of a close race, you’ll align yourself with regular voters—not party elites.” So far it’s attracted 162,000 signatures.

Source:
REGULAR ORDER
Ryan Pitching the Importance of Passing a Budget Today
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

House Speaker Paul Ryan today is trying to convince his large but divided conference that they need to pass a budget under regular order. “Conservatives are revolting against higher top-line spending levels negotiated last fall by President Obama and Ryan’s predecessor, then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). GOP centrists are digging in on the other side, pledging to kill any budget that deviates from the two-year, bipartisan budget deal.” Ryan’s three options are to lower the budget numbers to appease the Freedom Caucus, “deem” a budget and move on to the appropriations process, or “preserve Obama-Boehner levels, but seek savings elsewhere.”

Source:
HEADED TO PRESIDENT’S DESK
Trade Bill Would Ban Imports Made with Slave Labor
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

“A bill headed for President Barack Obama this week includes a provision that would ban U.S. imports of fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa and garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh, closing a loophole in an 85-year-old tariff law.” The Senate approved the bill, which would also ban Internet taxes and overhaul trade laws, by a vote of 75-20. It now goes to President Obama.

Source:
TRUMP UP TO 44%
Sanders Closes to Within Seven Nationally in New Poll
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders has closed to within seven points of Hillary Clinton in a new Morning Consult survey. Clinton leads 46%-39%. Consistent with the New Hampshire voting results, Clinton does best with retirees, while Sanders leads by 20 percentage points among those under 30. On the Republican side, Donald Trump is far ahead with 44% support. Trailing by a huge margin are Ted Cruz (17%), Ben Carson (10%) and Marco Rubio (10%).

Source:
×