Marijuana-infused cookie sends Oregon boy to hospital
An 8-year-old Klamath Falls boy became ill last Saturday after eating a marijuana-infused cookie that he found on the ground.
The child’s mother, Jessica Hart, 30, said her son, Jackson, came home from an afternoon outing at a local rock quarry complaining he was sick. He pulled at his chest and made motions that suggested he was choking. He had trouble keeping his eyes open.
“He said everything looked like a cartoon,” Hart recalled Tuesday. “He said he was vibrating all over.”
The second-grader said his stomach hurt. He vomited. Thinking he had food poisoning, Hart asked what he’d eaten that day.
A cookie, he said.
He found it, still sealed in its original packaging, about two hours earlier at the quarry, where he and his mom’s boyfriend and another adult were shooting targets. Hart said when her boyfriend heard Jackson say something about finding a cookie, he told the child not to eat it. But when her boyfriend looked away, Jackson gobbled it up.
Alarmed, Hart asked her boyfriend to return to the quarry to see if he could find the package, which he did. According to the label, the cookie was infused with an estimated 50 milligrams of THC.
“Essentially,” she said, “he was just really high.”
Hart Googled “poison control” and called the number that popped up. The center staff advised her to take her son to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls.
There, he was given intravenous fluids and monitored by emergency room staff for about five hours, Hart said.
Dr. Grant Niskanen, vice president of medical affairs at the hospital, confirmed that the boy was treated for symptoms related to marijuana ingestion.
“He was agitated and a little confused and his parents were rightfully concerned,” Niskanen said.
The incident was mentioned Monday on the House floor by state Rep. Gail Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, before she cast a vote against a bill that would make a range of changes to the state’s marijuana policy, including removing a residency requirement for marijuana growers, processors and retailers.
“There are ramifications for what we are doing,” Whitsett said.
The incident comes as Oregon public health officials and marijuana industry representatives debate the appropriate serving size for marijuana edibles. Oregon regulators have come up with rules that would make these products half as strong as what Colorado and Washington allow, in part to protect novices and children who accidentally eat the products.
The Oregon Poison Center last year received 25 calls related to children under 6 consuming marijuana, up from 11 the previous year, according to data the organization provided The Oregonian/OregonLive.
(See related: Wary Oregon wants weaker pot edibles for recreational users)
The cookie appears to have been manufactured by a California company. A voicemail left for the president of the company was not immediately returned. The package says it contained two servings that included 25 milligrams of THC apiece.
Hart said her son likely didn’t read the label before opening the sealed package.
“He has no idea what cannabis is,” she said. “Obviously he knows now.”