The number of children — especially very young ones — ingesting marijuana is rising in Colorado despite regulations meant to keep edibles out of kids’ hands, and state leaders said they have no plans to revisit those rules this year.
The number of reports the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety office received of kids age 5 or younger exposed to marijuana skyrocketed from 56 in 2017 to 151 in 2021. By 2021, this age group made up nearly half of all marijuana exposures — in which the drug is ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin — reported to the office, which is part of the nonprofit Denver Health organization.
In each of those five years, children were most often accidentally exposed by eating edibles — gummies, cookies, drinks, and other products infused with the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — and not by inhaling smoke or consuming the drug in other forms, like capsules or tinctures. In 2017, 35 children age 5 or younger were unintentionally exposed to marijuana through edibles, compared with 97 in 2021. Exposures don’t necessarily mean the children were poisoned or overdosed, according to the poison and drug safety office.
Marijuana exposures among children are increasing nationwide, with Colorado playing a notable role in this trend. However, the federal government has yet to create uniform protocols, and Colorado health officials haven’t conveyed any plans to revise the regulations meant to prevent children from…