With poisonings on the rise, marijuana
edibles are no treat for kids
The Washington Poison Center is warning parents to be on the look-out for marijuana-edibles that may be mistaken for candy.

A variety of candy-style products exist in the medical marijuana market. Marijuana-edibles can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types that often resemble traditional candies and sweets in their product name and/or appearance, such as brownies, candy bars, cookies, and gummy bears. Both medical and recreational marijuana contain enough THC, the active chemical in marijuana, to cause symptoms in both kids and adults.
“Our call volume has increased over 120 percent regarding children exposed to marijuana and marijuana edibles, compared to 2013.” said Dr. Alexander Garrard, Clinical Managing Director of the Washington Poison Center. “This may be due to marijuana edibles being more available, and the lack of child-resistant packaging,” added Garrard.
Here are some helpful tips for parents for preventing marijuana edibles from falling into the wrong hands:  
 Only allow children to have packaged candy from well-known brands, and avoid off-label or unfamiliar    brands
• Throw away any candy or food that looks like it has been opened and re-wrapped.
• Read the labels on all candy products to ensure no marijuana content is present.
• If you have marijuana products in your home, keep them out of reach and locked up.
Call the Washington Poison Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 if you are worried about your health and safety, or if a child has accidently eaten a marijuana edible. All calls are free, confidential and protected by the Good Samaritan Law.
For more information about how marijuana can harm kids, and what parents can do to keep kids healthy and safe, visit www.StartTalkingNow.org.
Meth and heroin now Washington's greatest drug threat
Heroin surpasses marijuana on 2014 ranking; meth contributes most to violent crimes

By Amy Randall-Vandenburg

For nearly a decade, methamphetamine and marijuana shared the title of Washington’s greatest drug threat. This year, Northwest HIDTA ranked methamphetamine and heroin as the state’s greatest drug threat. The changing climate of society’s attitude toward marijuana and the increasing population of heroin abusers have changed responses made by task forces to the Northwest HIDTA Threat Assessment Survey (Northwest HIDTA TAS) and altered the rankings.

According to law enforcement officials, methamphetamine contributes more than any other drug to violent crimes in Washington State. Methamphetamine is also ranked as the drug most prevalent in the state, coinciding with a consistent increase in youth treatment admissions for the drug over the past five years. Methamphetamine distributors are known to transport the drug in liquid form for better concealment and then create the finished, solid product in conversion labs
For the first time in Northwest HIDTA history, heroin is ranked as a greater drug threat to Washington than marijuana. Heroin is second only to methamphetamine for its prevalence and association with violent crime and property crimes, according to Northwest HIDTA Initiatives. Heroin use and treatment admissions are climbing among adults and data from the Public Health-Seattle & King County indicates that the majority of needle-exchange participants reported the drug they used most was heroin.

Some of the increase in heroin may be attributed to the reformulation of OxyContin in 2010, public awareness of prescription drug abuse and health care officials being vigilant to prevent doctor-shopping. Many heroin users are former prescription drug addicts looking for a cheaper and easier alternative to get high.

Talk to your teens
New tool kit provides advice for talking
to youth about risks of marijuana use

A new tool kit developed by the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition (formerly RUaD) is aimed at helping parents talk to middle and high school youth about marijuana use, which is still illegal in Washington state for those under 21.
The toolkit includes a parent's guide with tips for preventing underage use of marijuana, the warning signs of teen marijuana use, and how to get help if a teen is already using marijuana.  The guide discusses the health risks to adolescents when they use marijuana and gives parents clear steps on what they can do to help their children make the right choices. More information and a link where the resources can be downloaded is on the StartTalkingNow.org website.

Mentioned in the Media

Research shows continued shift
in attitudes across U.S. about marijuana
Recent data published by the Pew Research Center this week showed a continued shift in attitudes among Americas about marijuana, New Orleans station WDSU reported on Oct. 29. Pew researchers paired their data with historical figures from Gallup and the General Social Survey. This was done to show how Americans have shifted their views on the drug over time.

Seattle Times Editorial
Where’s the weed? In Seattle, it’s in medical-marijuana dispensaries
An October 25 editorial in the Seattle Times argues that much of the demand for marijuana is being met by medical marijuana dispensaries rather than retail recreational marijuana stores.

Seattle Times
Seattle sends warning letters to pot shops
Be licensed or be closed by summer, the City of Seattle is warning the 300 or so medical marijuana practitioners in the city by letter. Problem is, there is no such thing as a state license for medical marijuana operations unless the state's legislature enacts on this session. Details are in the Seattle Times

Trick or Treat?
Seattle police warn parents to inspect kids' 
Halloween bounty for pot-laced edibles

Now that pot stores are legal in Washington, police say parents need to make sure marijuana-infused edibles don’t get into their kids’ hands, according to a report by Q13-Fox




National Substance Abuse Prevention Month


Office of National Drug Control Policy