Incidence Of Pediatric Cannabis Exposure Among Children And Teenagers Aged 0 To 19 Years Before And After Medical Marijuana Legalization In Massachusetts

Incidence of Pediatric Cannabis Exposure Among Children and Teenagers Aged 0 to 19 Years Before and After Medical Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts

Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug worldwide and is used today for both medical and non-medical purposes (United Nations, 2019). More than 200 million people used cannabis in the past year, according to recent reports (United Nations, 2019; Leduc-Pessah et al.2019).

Increased use in some jurisdictions and the recent liberalization of cannabis policies (Leung et al., 2019) have raised concerns about unintended childhood exposures (Richards et al., 2017a; Wang, 2017).

Data Abstraction, Charting And Collation

After the liberalization of cannabis (marijuana) policies, the importance of pediatric health personnel to cannabis exposure increased in Colorado and Washington, but evidence from other US states is limited.

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Objective To document the incidence of childhood cannabis exposure cases reported to Regional Poison Control and Prevention Centers (RPCs) before and after the legalization of medical marijuana (MML) in Massachusetts.


Cross-sectional comparison of childhood cannabis-exposed cases 4 years before and after his MML in Massachusetts.


The exposed cases included cases in her 218 children and adolescents from 0 years to19 years who were reported to the RPC from 2009 to 2016. Census data were used to determine the incidence. Data analysis was performed from November 12, 2018, to July 20, 2019. Cannabis product exposure.


The reported incidence of cases of single and multiple cannabis exposures in the age group 0 to 19 years and the types, cogestants, and clinical effects of cannabis products.

Results During the eight-year study period (2009–2016), the RPC received 218 calls related to cannabis exposure in children and adolescents aged 0–19 years (98 single-agent, 120 multi drugs).

This represents 0.15% of all RPCs. Calls in this age group corresponding to this period. Of the total exposed cases, 132 (60.6%) were male, and 86 (39.4%) were female.

The incidence of single-agent cannabis calls increased from 0.4 per 100,000 population before MML to 1.1 per 100,000 population thereafter (incidence ratio 2.4; 95% CI 1.5-3.9), an increase of 140%. The age group 15–19 years had the highest incidence of RPC-reported cannabis exposure (178 calls [81.7%]).

The proportion of all his RPC calls due to single-agent cannabis exposure increased globally across all age groups, from age 29 years before MML to his age 69 years after his MML. Exposure to edible products increased after the MML in most age groups.


In Massachusetts, after medical marijuana was legalized in 2012, cases of childhood cannabis exposure increased despite the use of pediatric packaging and warning labels. This study provides additional evidence to suggest that MML may be linked to increased cannabis exposure in very young children, and teens may also be involved in RPC-mediated cannabis-related health systems.

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It expands on previous research showing that children experience increased exposure to high-potency edibles and concentrated extracts, especially as many states in the United States experience increased retail sales of MML and cannabis. Further efforts are needed to keep it out of the reach of children and adolescents.

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Sharma is the content editor at with over 3 years of experience in journalism, Priyanka delivers fresh and accurate news on the cannabis industry to her readers. Her versatility as a writer and editor is showcased in her work. When she's not busy writing and editing, Priyanka can be found exploring new travel destinations and indulging in her love for food.

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