Marijuana vendor in Thailand (Simon Roughneen)

dpa

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Marijuana vendor in Thailand (Simon Roughneen)

Decriminalization could be behind an increase in cannabis poisoning, including among children.

That’s going by the results of 30 studies into the legalization of cannabis and its impact on acute poisoning, which were analyzed by University of Sydney researchers and published by the journal Addiction.

The findings pointed to a “general rise in the rate of cannabis poisoning after cannabis legalisation or decriminalisation,” with the apparent rise in the number of children being affected down to the relaxation of rules enabling more consumption of cannabis-laced snacks.

“Increased availability and use of edibles appears to be an important driver of the increase in poisonings, particularly among children,” said the university’s Rose Cairns, mentioning the likes of gummies and chocolates.

In general, eating cannabis rather than smoking brings with it “a higher risk of poisoning,” Cairns explained, as “people tend to consume larger quantities, and the effects of cannabis take longer to show up when ingested.”

Cannabis poisoning can cause lethargy, drowsiness, dizziness, hypertension, palpitations, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, irritability and agitation. Severe cases can lead to coma.

The research and analysis was focused on North America, where 26 US states and administrative regions permit recreational use of the drug, as does Canada. Cannabis can also be bought legally for such use in a handful of other countries, including Spain, the Netherlands and Thailand.

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