On April 30, the American Academy of Pediatrics posted a story on their website with the following information:
A new study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure.
The study, “Marijuana Exposure in Children Hospitalized for Bronchiolitis,” recruited parents of previously healthy children between one month of age and two years old who were admitted to Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHC) between January 2013 and April 2014 with bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the smallest air passages in the lung. The parents completed a questionnaire about their child’s health, demographics, exposure to tobacco smoke, and as of October 2014, whether anyone in the home used marijuana. Marijuana became legal in Colorado on January 1, 2014.
Of the children who were identified as having been exposed to marijuana smokers, urine samples showed traces of a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, in 16 percent of them. The results also showed that more of the children were THC positive after legalization (21 percent, compared with 10 percent before), and non-white children were more likely to be exposed than white children.
The findings suggest that secondhand marijuana smoke, which contains carcinogenic and psychoactive chemicals, may be a rising child health concern as marijuana increasingly becomes legal for medical and recreational use in the United States, said lead researcher Karen M. Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAP, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and section head at CHC. Most states with legal marijuana do not restrict its combustion around children, she said.
Smoking pot around your children is not any healthier than smoking cigarettes around your children. Back in the days of dinosaurs when I grew up, parents thought nothing of smoking around their children. I grew up in a blue haze and married a smoker. From the time I was little until the time my husband quit smoking, I had chronic sinus problems. Since I now live in a pretty much smoke-free world, I very rarely get sinus infections. Also, the number of colds my children had decreased noticeably after my husband quit smoking. Second-hand smoke, regardless of its source, is simply not healthy.
On May 10, Today reported:
…A new report by the American Auto Association (AAA) has found that the percentage of drivers who are high on pot during fatal accidents in Washington State more than doubled between 2013 and 2014.
In Washington, only looking at crashes in which at least one driver tested positive for active THC, there were 40 fatalities in 2010, compared to 85 in 2014, according to AAA estimates. However, a large number of drivers were not tested for THC or did not have available blood test results, so THC-related fatalities could be much higher, the report notes.
The AAA report focused only on Washington state, while legalized the sale and possession of marijuana in 2012. It did not track driving while high fatality trends in Colorado, which also legalized pot that in 2012.
But with marijuana on the ballot to become legal in more states, AAA researchers fear that the numbers will rise more sharply.
Is this where we want to go?