In states with legal medicinal or recreational marijuana, there is a new public health threat looming: kids who get into their parents’ pot. This problem wasn’t much discussed in the debates about the relative benefits and risks of marijuana, but emergency room workers and child welfare professionals say that it’s becoming more and more of an issue, as more and more people – especially honest, responsible parents – have marijuana in the house.
Marijuana edibles are the biggest problem here. Live plants aren’t very tempting for kids to munch on, though they should be kept away from kids anyway. Dried herb is even less appealing. But the market of marijuana edibles has absolutely exploded, especially as nearly half the states in the country have legalized either recreational or medical marijuana. If you were a kid and you saw some cookies, brownies, or gummy bears on the counter, would you stop to wonder if they had marijuana in them? Would you even care if they did? You’d probably just eat them, because that’s what kids do. And since you wouldn’t know or care about the recommended dosage, you’d probably end up eating the Whole. Darn. Thing.
This is exactly what emergency workers see every day: kids who didn’t know that the delicious brownies were laced with a drug, or who knew that they weren’t supposed to have it but snuck some anyway. We know you like your pot, and we know you love your kids, so here are some steps you can take to keep your kids out of your marijuana.
Keep it out of reach.
You keep bleach and Lysol out of your kids’ reach. You should keep your marijuana edibles out of their reach too. Put your stuff up in a high cabinet. Don’t keep it on the counter.
Lock it up.
You can get locks to put on your cabinets. You can even set a combination on it so you don’t have to worry about losing the key. There are bags and boxes you can get that have locks built in, so that you can be sure that nobody gets your marijuana without authorized access.
Get a safe.
This might be a little extreme for you, but the most certain way of keeping your marijuana safe is to put it in, well, a safe.
Make sure it’s in a childproof container.
In some state, marijuana dispensaries are required to sell it to you in a childproof container. If your edibles aren’t in a childproof container, put them in one.
Don’t buy the candy.
Stuff happens, and sometimes kids get into things no matter how many precautions you put in place. It will help a lot if you don’t buy your edibles in forms that are too irresistible to kids.
When you eat marijuana, it takes about an hour for the effects to hit you. If your kids find your edibles stash and don’t know what it is, they might easily eat the entire thing before they have any idea that it’s not really just brownies.
Talk to your kids.
Don’t hide it from them. Kids are sneaky buggers and they will find it. Tell them about it, explain that it is your medicine, and let them know that it is off limits. Tell them that you know exactly how much you have, and that if any is missing you will know who got into it. If they know you’re watching, they won’t be as likely to sneak it.
Talk to other parents.
Before your kids go over to other people’s houses, make sure to talk to the parents about whether they have marijuana, and how they have it stored. It doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation; you’re checking for your kids’ safety, and they would naturally want their kids to be safe too when they visited your house.