San Diego County’s only children’s hospital reports that it continues to see elevated numbers of young patients arriving in its emergency department with cannabis poisoning, echoing findings from a new analysis released last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Natalie Laub, a pediatrician and cannabis researcher at Rady Children’s Hospital, said the situation has been most dramatic for children age 5 and younger.
Cannabis-involved ED visits among young persons were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than during 2019. Large increases in cannabis-involved ED visit rates occurred among children aged ≤10 years, and among persons aged 11–14 years; rates among females aged 11–14 years increased more than they did among males.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent cease and desist letters to the companies for trying to get their products to look like "chips, cookies, candy, gummies or other snack food items" such as Doritos, Cheetos and Nerds candy. The agencies said the products can be accidently taken by children or used in too large of doses by adults due to misleading marketing.
When California voters in 2016 supported the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, we did not anticipate children would become collateral damage from an improperly regulated industry that prioritizes profit over children’s health.
What we now know is the marketing practices of the cannabis industry, which take a page from tobacco companies’ playbook by targeting children, are causing a direct threat to kids’ safety, wellbeing and overall health.
Back in January, Ippolito-Shepherd who has been living in the residential DC neighborhood of Cleveland Park for 30 years sued her neighbor over cannabis odor, claiming it created a nuisance. The 76-year-old said the offending aroma affected her sleep and everyday life.
The woman didn’t go straight for the lawsuit, she first tried asking her neighbor to stop smoking in the apartment, then she tried asking the landlord to evict the smoker, but nothing seemed to work. The court however sympathized with her troubles and ruled in her favor.