SEATTLE — It’s a label meant to help save your child’s life if they get a hold of those edible marijuana goodies you bought from a marijuana store.
Registered nurse Joan Gibson has been taking calls for the Washington Poison Center for more than two decades. She has received several calls from kids who accidentally ate their parents’ marijuana-baked goodies — the kind that look like cakes, and cookies, candy or brownies.
On average, Gibson says she’ll get one to two of those calls each month.
“They’re too drowsy, too affected by it,” said Gibson.
Sometimes she can advise parents what to do over the phone, and other times the children need to be rushed to a hospital for emergency care.
Jordan Jones is the Operations Manager of Ponder in Central District, where they sell a plethora of edible goods with marijuana.
“These are Incredible Edible Brownies!” said Jones. “This product contains edible marijuana. This one even says, ‘absolutely not for children’ in red letters.”
The edibles with weed are made by adults and for adults, but sometimes kids get a hold of them. And caution labels on those cannabis products don’t seem to be enough according to health experts.
So that’s why the Washington Poison Center and the Washginton State Liquor and Cannabis Board helped unveil a new warning label Wednesday.
“I encourage the labeling,” said Jones.
Jones got a glimpse of the bold red logo.
“That hard stop hand is good for kids. It lets them know, ‘don’t do it,'” said Jones. “This part I like. The emergency contact number.”
Since last year, the Washington poison center responded to 65 emergency calls for kids accidentally consuming edible marijuana.
“It’s a growing problem, especially as products becomes more and more available, as it becomes more part of the culture.” said Dr. Anthony Garrard with the Washington Poison Center.
The Washington Poison Center said they are seeing the emergencies calls increase among kids as well as adults. In fact, the center received a total of 115 calls year to date involving marijuana-related emergencies for both children and adults.
Advocates of the logo hope the simple label will have a profound affect on who reaches for the cannabis cookies and candy and that children will think twice before actually eating it.
The Washington Poison Center encourages everyone to program their 800 number in your mobile phone for emergencies. Nurses and pharmacists are on hand to staff the call center and answer your general questions about medications and to help handle emergencies.