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High THC and the High Cost to Children


As the legalization of marijuana continues to spread across the United States, the potency of THC in modern marijuana products has been on the rise. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the "high" sensation. This increase in potency has raised concerns about the potential negative implications and consequences, especially for children who may inadvertently consume these products.


According to recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average THC potency of marijuana flower in the United States has increased from 4% in the 1990s to nearly 20% in 2022. The potency of THC in marijuana products such as edibles and vaping cartridges can be even higher, with some products containing up to 99% THC.

This increase in potency has led to an increase in emergency room visits related to marijuana use. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the rate of emergency room visits related to marijuana use doubled between 2013 and 2018. The study also found that edible products were the most common source of these visits, accounting for 18.4% of cases.


Children are particularly vulnerable to the negative consequences of high-potency THC products. Ingesting edibles, such as gummies or brownies, can lead to accidental overdose, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, confusion, and paranoia. In extreme cases, an overdose can lead to coma or even death.

Are you concerned about marijuana and other THC products in the Walled Lake Schools?

  • 0%Very concerned

  • 0%Somewhat concerned

  • 0%Not too concerned

  • 0%No concern


Dr. Sharon Levy, the director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children's Hospital, warns that "high-potency THC products pose a serious risk to children, who may not understand the potency of the products they are consuming." She notes that "edibles, in particular, can be attractive to children because they resemble candy or other familiar foods."


In addition to the risk of accidental overdose, high-potency THC products can also have negative long-term effects on brain development. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that frequent marijuana use during adolescence was associated with lower cognitive function in adulthood, including memory and attention span.


The high-potency THC products also pose a risk to mental health. A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that daily use of high-potency marijuana was associated with a higher risk of psychosis, a mental health disorder characterized by a loss of touch with reality.

Were you aware that there have been multiple instances of minors, in the Walled Lake Schools, who have had THC related medical emergencies?

  • Yes, I was aware

  • No, I didn't know


Despite the potential negative consequences, the demand for high-potency THC products continues to grow. This has led to concerns about the unregulated nature of the marijuana industry and the potential for dangerous products to reach consumers.

According to Dr. Levy, "the lack of regulation in the marijuana industry is a major concern. Consumers have no way of knowing what is in the products they are consuming or how potent they are." She notes that "it is crucial for the industry to be regulated to ensure that consumers are protected from dangerous products."


In response to these concerns, some states have implemented regulations on the potency of THC in marijuana products. For example, Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012, has implemented a cap on the potency of edibles at 100 milligrams of THC per package.

Has the Walled Lake School Administration adequately informed parents about the drug issues in the schools?

  • Very good at informing the public

  • Somewhat good at informing the public

  • Not very good at informing the public

  • Horrible at informing the public


However, the lack of federal regulation on the marijuana industry makes it difficult for states to effectively regulate the potency of these products. This has led to calls for federal regulation to ensure the safety of consumers.


In conclusion, the increase in high-potency THC products, particularly edibles and vaping cartridges, poses a serious risk to children and can have negative long-term effects on brain development and mental health. It is crucial for the marijuana industry to be regulated to ensure that consumers are protected from dangerous products. As the debate over the legalization of marijuana continues to unfold, the issue of high THC levels in marijuana products is a pressing concern that cannot be ignored. The evidence suggests that current marijuana products are much stronger than those of the past, and this increase in potency poses a number of serious health risks, especially for children and adolescents. While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of high-potency marijuana products, it is clear that public education and regulation are necessary to mitigate the potential harm caused by these substances. By working together, lawmakers, educators, and health professionals can help to ensure that marijuana products are used safely and responsibly, without putting individuals or communities at risk.

Does the Walled Lake School District have an effective drug enforcement and education plan?

  • Excellent enforcement and education plan

  • Satisfactory enforcement and education plan

  • Poor enforcement and education plan

  • Not aware of an enforcement and education plan


Sources:

  1. Cascini, F., Aiello, C., Di Tanna, G. (2019). Increasing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC) content in herbal cannabis over time: systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 11(1), 3-13.

  2. Chandra, S., Radwan, M. M., Majumdar, C. G., Church, J. C., Freeman, T. P., & ElSohly, M. A. (2019). New trends in cannabis potency in USA and Europe during the last decade (2008–2017). European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 269(1), 5-15.

  3. Government of Canada. (2021). Health Effects of Cannabis. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/health-effects.html

  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021). Marijuana DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

  5. Stogner, J. M., & Miller, B. L. (2015). Assessing the dangers of "dabbing": mere marijuana or harmful new trend?. Pediatrics, 136(1), 1-3.

  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP21-07-01-001, NSDUH Series H-56). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.





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