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Study links increased severe intoxications in children with cannabis legalization


September 15, 2021
By Grow Opportunity staff

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A study published in the Clinical Toxicology journal has concluded that recreational cannabis legalization is associated with higher rates of intoxication in children.

The study, titled “Pediatric cannabis intoxication trends in the pre and post-legalization era,” was conducted at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto over 12 years. Researchers collected data from electronic medical charts.

While the median monthly number of cannabis-related cases did not differ between pre and post-legalization, the study claims that the severity of cases have increased as a result of unintentional exposures and edibles ingestions.

Recently, the Cannabis Council of Canada (C3) published its own letter to the editor for the Clinical Toxicology journal rebuking the results of the study, saying it “contained significant flaws leading to inaccurate conclusions.” The letter, which was co-authored by Dr. Stephanie Lunn, Director of Medical Affairs at Aurora Cannabis and C3 president George Smitherman, says the research fails to distinguish between legal cannabis products and illicit market products.

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“At Aurora Cannabis, we believe that good science is central to our ability to support the public policy objectives of cannabis legalization and we appreciate the opportunity to have our voice heard when it comes to science about legal cannabis,” wrote Dr. Lunn.

“The health and wellbeing of Canadian youth is of the utmost importance to Canada’s licensed and regulated cannabis industry,” commented Smitherman. “We hope this effort and others like it will help educate Canadians about the serious health risks to youth, and to all Canadians, from unregulated illicit cannabis products.”