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Uptick in Number of Children Visiting ER After 2009 Medical Marijuana Law Passed

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Uptick in Number of Children Visiting ER After 2009 Medical Marijuana Law

Although there seems to be an abundance of advocates for medical marijuana, medical professional say that treats made with cannabis have sent more children to the ER since laws were passed in 2009 allowing for its medicinal use. Specifically, a study conducted by researchers at Colorado Children's Hospital found a large uptick in the number of children treated for problems stemming from their consumption of candies, cookies and other treats laced with medical marijuana.

Other States Plan to Legalize Medical Marijuana

The 2009 policy change led to a surge in medical marijuana users after federal authorities said they would not prosecute medical marijuana users. Eighteen states, including Colorado and Washington D.C. allow medical marijuana, though it remains illegal under federal law. Colorado's laws date back to 2000, but researchers say they saw the uptick in the number of children visiting the ER after consuming marijuana treats after the 2009 policy was put in place. At least 7 other states are considering passing laws to legalize medical marijuana, and laws to expand its use, which will likely lead to more sickened children.

Breathing Problems, Dizziness Reported

The study was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics and found that most children that were hospitalized after consuming medical marijuana treats suffered mild complications. However, some, including a 5-year-old boy, suffered from breathing problems and eight children were hospitalized in the intensive care unit. The researchers also note that in the four years preceding the policy change, the Denver-area Colorado Children's Hospital saw no such cases. Some of the children were merely high, but all were under the age of 12 and included an 8-month-old boy.