Gummy candy at a teen’s birthday party is being blamed for sending 19 people, most of them teens and children, to the hospital over the weekend in San Francisco, in what appears to be a mass marijuana overdose.

Doctors reported symptoms including dizziness, confusion, and dilated pupils in patients who ate gummies likely tainted with THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Most of the patients were 18 years old or under. The youngest: 6.

Poisoning of children by accidental marijuana ingestion is rising in the United States, particularly where the drug is legal, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, which analyzed childhood marijuana poisonings in Colorado relative to the rest of the country. Since 2009, US poison centers outside of Colorado have seen an average 19 percent annual increase in pediatric poisonings from marijuana; the increase was 34 percent in Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2014.

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In California, where the birthday party took place, marijuana is legal only with a prescription for medical use. Authorities still don’t know where the suspect candy came from and are still waiting for lab results confirming they contained THC, the Associated Press reports. But some of the sick partygoers did test positive for the chemical.

In absolute numbers, incidents of marijuana poisoning in children remain relatively low — fewer than 300 incidents were reported at Colorado poison control centers and hospitals in a seven-year period. Still, the preventable exposure is enough to concern state legislators. In 2015, they passed a law requiring childproof packaging for marijuana products and last month they outlawed marijuana candies in shapes — like animals, people, or fruits — that might be more likely to attract children.

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of marijuana, which may have long-term developmental consequences, according to the surgeon general’s warning. THC dose can vary wildly in edible marijuana products, which can make accidental consumption even more dangerous.

All of the patients had been discharged from the hospital by Monday morning. The department of public health is continuing to test all food eaten at the party until it confirms the source of illness.

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  • Yeah, those non-toxic harmless healing herbs that have been used as medicine for 20,000 years that are totally impossible to OD on because there are no CB1/CB2 receptors in the brain stem are so scary!

    [clutch my pearls]

  • No one has ever ever died from toxic overdose of cannabis. Everyone involved in this incident was fine in a few hours. By comparison to the legal alternatives cannabis is very safe.

    Prescription drugs are directly responsible for over 237,000 deaths yearly in the US plus over 5,000 traffic deaths due to pharmaceutical intoxicated drivers. 78 PEOPLE DIE PER DAY from overdose of opium-based pharmaceuticals. In the United States EVERY 9 MINUTES, 160 times every day, 58,400 time per year a child is admitted to a hospital emergency room for pharmaceutical drug poisoning and many of these children never go home again.

    Booze consumption is a direct GATEWAY to alcoholism, homelessness, street violence, domestic violence, traffic fatalities, teen pregnancies and death. Over 88,000 people die every year in our nation due to alcohol consumption plus 16,000 more in traffic fatalities directly caused by booze intoxicated drivers.

    Tobacco is highly addictive and kills over 390,000 Americans every year.

    Cannabis has never been proven by scientific study as a gateway drug and has never killed one single person in all medical history due to toxic overdose. The new stronger strains of cannabis are a massive Improvement. Less to carry less to consume for the same results. No matter how much cannabis is consumed (even an entire bag of edibles) it is never fatal. Cannabis has no significant statistical history of traffic problems let alone deaths. By comparison to booze, tobacco and pills cannabis is very safe and far less toxic.

    So, which is safer???? Legalize, regulate and TAX!

  • When I was in my teens and first started smoking weed, there were several times that I thought I thought I was going to die laughing. Seriously. It’s been ages since I’ve touched the stuff and have no interest in it now but it is not dangerous in the scheme of things (even though 6 is way too young). But for teenagers like I was, I’m surprised that they didn’t just kick back and enjoy it because for me, it was one of the best feelings in the world. It must have been something else in this candy.

  • The same day people felt sick from Cannabis – SADLY MANY KIDS ACTUALLY DIED FROM PRESCRIBED MEDICATION! That’s where this non-story comes from. People who don’t want you to have access to a healing herb you can grow. #greed #illegallyhealed

  • Marijuana is not toxic and therefore not a poison. No one wants children eating marijuana edibles. The children were sent home after a few hours. There are real toxic substances children eat that are a more serious public health problem than marijuana. Stop demonizing marijuana. Tell the truth about how it interacts with our endocannabinoid system and heals neurodegenerative diseases – Alzheimer’s, MS, PTSD, TBI, PD. As long as marijuana is a CSA schedule I substance, no open scientific research will happen.

  • So we’re these kids incapacitated and seizing to the point of near death? Then they didn’t O.D. be careful with that word!

  • The article was rudimentary in its facts although a key ingredient was the terminology that described that the “look of the candy targeted children”. This is a major issue in many other issues. I noticed this with other things like women shaped liquor bottles and tins for cigarettes. The camel cigarettes that were flavored are banned or discontinued that followed this same approach to target people. There has to be a line drawn that says “adults know what is for you” while factory operations avoid targeting their greatest bulk, work, and machinery towards one child at a time. Adults- you are adults leave the children’s wonderment towards greater things. Don’t call the kids to rise for candy that involves future altering narcotics.

  • No one has ever ever died from toxic overdose of cannabis. By comparison to the legal alternatives cannabis is very safe.

    Prescription drugs are directly responsible for over 237,000 deaths yearly in the US plus over 5,000 traffic deaths due to pharmaceutical intoxicated drivers. 78 PEOPLE DIE PER DAY from overdose of opium-based pharmaceuticals. In the United States EVERY 9 MINUTES, 160 times every day, 58,400 time per year a child is admitted to a hospital emergency room for pharmaceutical drug poisoning and many of these children never go home again.

    Booze consumption is a direct GATEWAY to alcoholism, homelessness, street violence, domestic violence, traffic fatalities, teen pregnancies and death. Over 88,000 people die every year in our nation due to alcohol consumption plus 16,000 more in traffic fatalities directly caused by booze intoxicated drivers.

    Tobacco is highly addictive and kills over 390,000 Americans every year.

    Cannabis has never been proven by scientific study as a gateway drug and has never killed one single person in all medical history due to toxic overdose. The new stronger strains of cannabis are a massive Improvement. Less to carry less to consume for the same results. No matter how much cannabis is consumed (even an entire bag of edibles) it is never fatal. Cannabis has no significant statistical history of traffic problems let alone deaths. By comparison to booze, tobacco and pills cannabis is very safe and far less toxic.

    So, which is safer???? Legalize, regulate and TAX!

    • Where are the testing labs for insuring that each batch of marijuana isn’t tainted with contaminations or overstrength or that it is kept out of the hands of children??

    • Where are the dead bodies? Where is a single person that died from Cannabis? Nowhere! Laboratory analysis isn’t needed when we get a strict regulatory board established. Just like alcohol – Cannabis will soon be the most popular legal substance & with time we will get more accuracy with edibles. In the mean time go fight for something that needs help. Just like alcohol, or medication adults need to store it securely. That’s the only issue here.

    • This site doesn’t want to use logic, seems they’re trying to use emotion to scare people about marijuana presumably because marijuana will wreck some corporate profits.

      Of course it’s the parent’s fault, but let’s overlook that for Pfizer’s sake.

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