Medicinal marijuana was legalized in New York in 2014, and seven years later, its recreational brethren was legalized, as well. Since that time, the marijuana industry has begun to grow and develop in the Empire State, and in 2023, you can now buy it in a number of different forms.

One of the more popular forms of weed is the edible, a product that comes in endless shapes and sizes.

Now, marijuana is legal for most, but not all, of the residents in New York. It's still illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy, possess, or consumes use adult-use cannabis in New York, but that hasn't stopped certain underage kids from finding their own ways to enjoy marijuana.

This is happening more often than you'd realize, and if you believe the stats, then we may have a problem on our hands in Upstate New York.

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Statistics from Poison Control Show Use of Edibles in Upstate NY Kids Growing

A recent report from NBC 5 WPTZ in Vermont shared troubling statistics gathered by Poison Control, relating to the use of edible marijuana by underage kids. The report presented information taken from both Vermont and Upstate New York, from 2019 through 2022.

When it comes to the use of edible marijuana, WPTZ shared that according to the Upstate New York Poison Center, data from 2019 to 2022 shows an 1107% increase in kids 18 and under.

Here are a few other interesting tidbits uncovered by WPTZ's report:

"According to the Northern New England Poison Control Center, marijuana exposure, including edible consumption and secondhand smoking, in kids 5 and under has increased by 1500%."

"New data from the national poison control center reveals marijuana edible consumption for young kids has increased by 1,375% percent over the last five years."

These percentages are astonishingly high, but not overly surprising, given the push for marijuana legalization in individual states from 2019 through 2022, and into 2023.

Unsplash / Margo Amala
Unsplash / Margo Amala

Now the question becomes, how to do you reduce this trend? The report asserts that discussions are ongoing to increase regulations for edible marijuana, and the marketing that the product receives. Said regulations would work to change the way that companies are presenting their edibles, with the desired outcome being that the products will look less desirable to younger kids.

It's a necessary step to take if companies want marijuana to remain legal and accessible for the public in the long-term. Much like alcohol before it, the marijuana industry will have to go through its share of failures before becoming normalized across the United States.

Like it, or hate it, it's happening. So, now the question becomes: how do states make it as safe as possible?

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