According to news sources, a Washington man has pleaded guilty to giving his 4-year-old daughter a piece of chocolate cake infused with marijuana.
The man reportedly went to his daughter’s daycare, where he gave her the cake. The girl later became “extremely lethargic,” and was taken to a local hospital, where she tested positive for THC–the main, active ingredient in marijuana.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Across the country, accidental exposure to marijuana has become a major problem–especially among children.
- May, 2016: Hospitals in Colorado report a spike in the number of newborns born with marijuana in their systems.
- April, 2016: A Georgia woman was arrested after her five year old said he ate a marijuana cake for breakfast. The child was taken to the hospital for treatment following the incident; according to officials, his pulse was measured at over 200 beats per minute. According to the child’s mother, the cake laced with marijuana was given to her by another person.
- March, 2015: Four high school students were hospitalized after eating brownies laced with marijuana hash oil. One student was actually found unresponsive in a school bathroom after eating a marijuana-laced brownie.
- February, 2015: A 20-month-old Canadian toddler overdosed after eating a marijuana-laced cookie authorities say his father baked. The child survived, but suffered seizures and had to be admitted to a hospital.
- December, 2014: A high school teacher in Maryland was hospitalized after a student gave her a brownie containing marijuana.
- December, 2014: Two middle school students in Oklahoma were rushed to the hospital after one of them reportedly passed out following marijuana-use at school.
- November, 2014: A Connecticut teen was taken to the hospital from school after she started having difficulty breathing following ingestion of a marijuana-laced gummy bear.
- June, 2014: According to The Aspen Times, a seven-year-old girl was taken to the hospital after eating marijuana-laced candy her mother brought home from work at an area hotel. The candy was left by a hotel guest–presumably as a tip.
- December, 2013: A two-year-old in Colorado overdosed and was hospitalized after eating a cookie laced with marijuana.News outlet indicate the girl found the cookie in the yard of an apartment complex.
Ingestion of marijuana by children is a very serious problem. Earlier this year, WMGT ran a news story on the matter, saying,
Dr. Christy Peterson, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, said the effects of marijuana are greater and more unpredictable on children than adults.
“Teenagers or adults, it may feel like sleepiness, but in a kid it can look like lethargy and it can even, in severe cases, lead to coma. . . .
“It makes them sleepy, agitated and ataxia which means that they can’t walk very well. It makes them seem disoriented. It makes them not perform well at school or be able to control their body. Hand-eye coordination would be decreased,” said Dr. Peterson.
As some states have legalized marijuana, stories like these have become more common. All of this underscores what we keep saying: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.