U.S.: Edible Marijuana Candy Is Sending Kids To The ER

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Marijuana is now legal in 24 states and the District of Columbia for either recreational or medical use. Marijuana edibles are becoming increasingly popular and kids across the nation are getting hurt.

In Oregon, an 8-year-old boy was rushed to the ER after eating a marijuana cookie he found in a park. Two children in Michigan were taken to the hospital after getting into a man's stash of gummy candies containing THC, tetrahydrocannibinol, marijuana's psychoactive component. Poison control facilities across the country reported 4,000 kids and teens exposed to marijuana just last year.

"This is extremely dangerous," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, told TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen in a recent interview. "When young children get ahold of these products, they can have severe reactions, including nausea, vomiting, disorientation, anxiety-like reactions and even psychotic reactions that can make them do things they wouldn't normally do."

Police warn that kids could bring edibles to school and share them with friends without being aware of what they are.

"You have little kids that accidentally get into this stuff; they don't know any better," said Sgt. Jim Gerhardt of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association. "Or a baby sitter might give a child something out of the pantry, not realizing what it is. Those accidental issues are on the rise, and it's a big problem."

"Kids are going to be enticed by this," Gerhardt said. "They're going to want to get into this stuff. Banning it's the only way to deal with it."

Poison Control can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.