ATLANTA, Ga. — Marijuana edibles are becoming a growing issue for the state and there is especially a concern about children getting their hands on them.
They’re taking up more and more space inside the GBI crime lab.
The tainted treats come in many varieties, including Rice Krispie treats, gummy candies, brownies and Goldfish crackers.
The GBI actually had to get an extra freezer just to accommodate all of the food samples waiting for testing that are suspected of containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles says the department estimates it’s tested more than 400 samples of edibles since April of 2016.
“The main concern is that a lot of times, these types of cases are showing up in our school systems,” Miles told CBS46 News.
The effects on children can be serious. Everything from hallucinations to paranoia to vomiting.
“We have found as the marijuana laws have changed, which includes legalization of marijuana in other states, we have seen more of these types of cases,” continued Miles.
Georgia Poison Center director Dr. Gaylord Lopez says their phones are ringing with more and more panicked parents on the other line after children accidentally ingest laced cookies or candy.
In the past few years, there’s been an increase in calls for children accidentally ingesting edibles.
In Georgia, there were seven calls to the Poison Center concerning marijuana edibles in 2017. That number jumped to 42 in 2018.
Nationwide, it increased from 23 in 2016 to more than 700 in 2017.
“This is what is going to be attractive to a younger generation and this is something that we have to worry about,” says Miles.
Children aren’t the only concern. Edibles can cause problems for adults because it can take them as long as an hour to kick in. After not feeling the effects right away, it could cause them to eat more and then the effects hit them all at once.
Also, if someone has underlying medical issues, it can be even more of a problem.