N.S. girl, 4, taken to hospital after eating 15 pieces of marijuana product
The Nova Scotia RCMP say a four-year-old girl was taken to hospital after she ate a chocolate bar that turned out to be an edible marijuana product.
Police say the little girl found the chocolate bar in the console of a vehicle she was helping her dad clean on Saturday. in East Petpeswick, N.S.
“As it turns out, this chocolate bar was an edible marijuana product, and the recommended dosage for an adult was one square per day, and the child ate 15 of them,” said RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke.
Police say the girl’s father realized the bar was missing and then noticed his daughter looked very pale. He called 911 and the child was taken to hospital.
She has since been treated and released.
“As I understand it, she’s OK,” said Clarke. “From the four-year-old’s perspective, as we understand it, she just thought it looked like a chocolate bar and she wanted it.”
This is an issue that’s starting to rear its head as marijuana laws loosen across North America.
Not everyone who wants to consume pot is interested in smoking it, so edible products are emerging as an alternative.
Chris Enns of The Farm Assists Medical Cannabis Resource Centre in Halifax said “all of the edibles that we sell here at Farm Assist are in tamper-proof packaging. They all have clear labelling with respect to the cannabinoid concentrations, and the ingredients used in the edible.”
They're also marked to be kept out of the hands of children and pets, but with gummies, granola bars, and even caramel corn as options, retailers admit they could be appealing to children.
“A responsible parent would not leave alcohol, would not leave a prescription drug in an area that's accessible to their children,” Enns said. “And I don’t think cannabis, whether it's prescribed or recreational, should be treated any differently.”
And, increasingly, packaging is getting more attractive.
“That doesn’t mean that labeling is not important, that having it sealed is not important, and keeping it out of the hands of children is clearly important as well,” Enns said.
Symptoms of marijuana intoxication vary with a child's age and size, but experts say they can include sleepiness, seizures, breathing problems or even coma.
The little girl on the Eastern Shore has reportedly made a full recovery.
Police are investigating the incident and say charges could be laid.
They are also reminding the public that it’s illegal to sell edibles and possess marijuana.
“It is illegal to sell edibles … even after Oct. 17, when marijuana supposedly will become legal, it’s illegal to have those things,” said Clarke. “And it still remains illegal to possess marijuana at this point in time.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.