Thanks to their yummy appearance, many people believe that marijuana edibles aren’t dangerous. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. This unique form of mistaken identity is responsible for a number of THC overdoses, leaving many communities asking why marijuana edibles aren’t being regulated more closely.
Confections that Pack a Punch
Last summer, six months after Colorado lifted its prohibition on pot, Maureen Dowd, columnist for The New York Times, traveled to Denver to check out the local marijuana edibles scene.
Dowd says she nibbled on a caramel-chocolate candy bar edible, ordered room service and was ready to watch an in-room movie at her hotel. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite like she had planned.
“I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours,” Dowd wrote. “I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights.”
Dowd remained in that state of confusion and panic all night.
“The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label,” she wrote in her column.
What Dowd didn’t realize at the time, however, was that she had overdosed on some of Colorado’s potent marijuana edibles.
Oregon Gets Proactive with Edibles
Colorado is certainly not alone in experiencing overdoses and negative effects brought on by marijuana edibles.
We have to figure out a way to package them, label them, and make sure people understand the dosage.-Rep. Ginny BurdickIn Oregon, where new marijuana laws passed last November, a 37-year-old woman was recently discovered at a condo in Sunriver “slumped on a bathroom floor, pale and having trouble breathing. She was numb from the shoulders down.”
One Portland congresswoman has set out to thoughtfully and carefully implement nuances of the law.
"I don't think we are in a position to approve any kind of edibles right now," Rep. Ginny Burdick said. "We have to figure out a way to package them, label them, and make sure people understand the dosage."
Understanding and Upholding Pot Laws
Beginning in July, Oregonians can legally possess up to a half pound of marijuana although commercial pot sales won’t begin until the latter part of 2016.
Burdick and her commission are closely monitoring the experiences of predecessor states like Colorado and Washington, especially when it comes to marijuana-infused snacks that look like regular snacks.
Burdick’s approach has garnered the support of local media. “It’s already apparent that this is a potential trouble spot, based on experiences in Colorado and Washington State – and now, here in Oregon. Let’s be sure to take the time we need to minimize the risk that legal edibles will fall into the wrong hands,” wrote The Albany Democrat-Herald.
Additional Reading: What You Need to Know About Marijuana Wax
Image Credits: Google Images/Instagram/OregonLive