STUDY: Number Of Young Kids Poisoned By Marijuana Edibles Grew 15-Fold In Recent Years

(MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The number of young children accidentally poisoning themselves with edible marijuana skyrocketed over the past five years as marijuana became legal in more states, according to a new study.

Poison control centers across the United States reported more than 7,000 confirmed cases of children under six years old consuming marijuana edibles between the years 2017 and 2021, according to a new study published in Pediatrics. The annual number of confirmed cases rose from just about 200 per year to more than 3,000 during that time.

Almost one-quarter of those kids ended up in the hospital, the researchers found, and some became seriously ill. More than half were toddlers aged two or three, and more than 90% accessed the edibles in their own homes, according to the study.

Vomiting, drowsiness, breathing problems and increased heart rate were the most commonly reported symptoms. Almost 600 of the children ended up in critical care units. (RELATED: Red State Voters Widely Reject Marijuana Legalization In Midterms)

Dr. Brian Schultz, a pediatric emergency doctor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told the Associated Press that he and his colleagues at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., treated kids who ate marijuana edibles on an almost “daily basis.”

Recreational marijuana was legalized in the nation’s capital in 2015, following a public referendum in 2014. Medicinal marijuana use is currently legal in 37 U.S. states, while recreational usage is legal in 21 states.