TULSA, Okla. — Since 2018, the Oklahoma Poison Control Center reported a 2,000% increase in calls related to marijuana exposure in children zero to five years old.
Officials said many of those calls are from accidental ingestion that state legislators say could be prevented.
As a mom to a three-year-old, Gabrielle Wasson told 2 News her weed gummies are nowhere her child can see them.
“It’s always out of reach,” Wasson said. “You always just want to put them on the top shelf. It’s really best to put them locked away in a fridge.”
State legislative committee members of the Alcohol Tobacco and Controlled Substances group hosted an interim study with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, Poison Control, Health Department, and others to discuss prevention measures for exposure increases.
A few ideas bounced around in the meeting, such as having a tracking system of the number of THC products customers can get and making them less aesthetically pleasing.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics showed edibles they seized from dispensaries because they looked too much like candy.
Wasson agrees marijuana edibles need bland packaging.
“They don’t need to put bright colors on it because adults are going to buy it regardless,” she said.
OMMA said all THC products are required to be child-resistant – meaning they’re challenging for young children to get into, but not impossible, and have warning labels. They also recommend putting edibles in child-resistant containers.
But officials agree – when 152 children were admitted to the hospital last year, with 31 in critical care – more prevention and education is needed.
There were 169 exposures reported to the Oklahoma Poison Center in children five years old and under in 2022. When marijuana was legalized for medicinal use in 2018, they only received 18 calls.
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Marijuana exposure to young children has increased in Oklahoma -so much so that Oklahoma Poison Control has seen a 2,000 percent increase in calls. Read More